New Delhi: Continuing with its crackdown on touts who corner Tatkal tickets and then sell them to genuine passengers for a premium, the Indian Railways on Friday decided to have separate timings for Tatkal and advance bookings. There is also a proposal to have a separate counter for booking Tatkal tickets, stricter vigilance and surveillance using CCTV at the railway counters.
Officials have proposed to start Tatkal bookings from 10 am and other advance bookings from 8 am. The Railway is planning to make identity card compulsory for all reservations. Railway Minister Mukul Roy will hold a meeting of top railway officials on Monday to discuss the proposals.
The Railway is also looking at the possibility of changes in the internet bookings to try and ensure that only one Tatkal booking per computer system is allowed. The Railway Ministry planning to get a software that will allow just one booking per IP address.
According to railway officials the booking clerk will not be allowed to use the mobile phone during the working hours.
"With a view to further improve the delivery of Tatkal tickets to passengers, the Ministry of Railways has decided that with effect from 10.07.2012 booking of Tatkal ticket will start at 1000 hours on the previous day of journey from train originating station instead of 0800 hours at present. No authorised agents, including agents of IRCTC and RTSAs/RTAs will be allowed to book Tatkal tickets from 1000 hours to 1200 hours. The existing restriction of not allowing these agents booking of general tickets on the opening day from 0800 hours to 1000 hours will also continue," said a Railway Ministry press release.
An IBN7 expose has shown how touts have taken full control over the emergency tickets following with the Indian Railway swung into action and is looking at making it mandatory for ticket seekers to show identification and give reasons for the urgent travel.
A sting operation by IBN7 has shown how middlemen, some of them Delhi Police personnel, were blatantly cornering and reselling tickets meant for passengers. The Railway Ministry has admitted to serious lapses, and promised stringent action and a series of solutions are being examined.