Touts, fake ticket agents likely to capitalise on festival rush
Even as railways is gearing up to meet the passenger rush by operating special trains, curbing unauthorised ticket agents’ and touts’ malpractices, the festive season continues to remain a challenge.
Many unauthorised ticket agents indulge in malpractices such as reserving tickets under fictitious names, bulk bookings, selling fake tickets etc., especially during festive season.
From April to September this year, the South Central Railway (SCR) has arrested over 95 persons for different malpractices. This season, SCR is operating over 132 special trains to different destinations. Of these, a majority of them originate from Hyderabad and Secunderabad railway stations. It is tough for authorities to check malpractices both on-board train and off-board. For instance, a general ticket is valid for 24 hours. After travelling from Hyderabad to Kazipet early in the day, a few passengers tend to resell the same ticket to other passengers at a lesser price after arriving back in Hyderabad late in the evening, says a railway official.
During festive season, most trains are packed and it is tough for TTEs to check each ticket. This apart, many unauthorised ticket agents block tickets in bulk under fictitious names, he adds.
However, this time, the SCR is taking up several measures to curb such malpractices. Officials from Commercial, Vigilance and Security departments will conduct special checks at different places and trains. Raids will be conducted at authorised and unauthorised travel agents’ offices in coordination with local police to check and seize reserved tickets under fictitious names and subsequent sale of transferred tickets, says SCR spokesperson.
Further, if there are unusual large ticket transactions by a particular reservation clerk, he or she would be kept under close surveillance to detect any connivance with agents. Passenger queues at ticket counters would also be monitored through CCTV cameras to keep touts at bay, he explains.