New Delhi: You would have often wondered why it's so difficult to book a ticket during the festive season. An IBN Cobrapost expose has revealed that a full fledged nexus between corrupt police officials, touts and railway clerks defrauds the system.
Cobrapost's undercover reporter posing as a travel agent met railway reservation clerk Kanhaiyalal at the New Delhi station reservation office.
Since it came soon after an IBN Network expose on Tatkal ticket bookings, Kanhaiyalal was cautious, albeit ready to do business.
He said, "There have been many raids... at the stations also. Many travel agencies were raided too."
He further confirmed that he was involved in illegal ticketing for years and explained just how the nexus operated. "Two-three months before the festival season, touts buy tickets worth lakhs of rupees, and then sell during the season," said Kanhaiyalal. "In emergency situations, passengers pay any amount for tickets. For a Rs 1100 ticket, touts charge Rs 2000," he added.
Through Kanhaiyalal, the reporter met a railway clerk, Ghanshyam, near the Nizamuddin station reservation office.
The reporter told him that over 100 tickets per day were needed to be sold illegally. Ghanshyam told him that he was better placed to help since he also prepared the train reservation charts.
"If you have a RAC or wait-list ticket, I will get it confirmed. Get as many tickets made as you want. On whose address will you be getting the tickets issued? It can be yours or a fake one."
So, why aren't confirmed tickets available? It's because touts do bulk booking on fake names with the help of clerks like Kanhaiyalal and Ghanshyam and then re-sell them to you at much higher rates.
Ghanshyam even told the reporter to book the tickets in "simple names", using no surnames. "Use fake names like Sudhir, Ganesh, Vinod, Mehboob. Simple names, no surnames. The age may vary between 25 and 35 years in the forms."
He added, "A sleeper class ticket for Patna is for Rs 360 but is sold at Rs 1000."
Ghanshyam and Kanhaiyalal are just two among many railways clerks who collude daily with touts in the illegal railway ticket scam. Just what can be done to stop this menace?