The Railways’ experiment to discourage touts booking tatkal tickets by opening a Self Tatkal Counter from Thursday came as a pleasant surprise to some of the commuters at Mangalore Central Station. It saved them time and made booking tatkal tickets easier.

Kiran Bhat, a city businessman, who booked a ticket through the counter said he saved a lot of time because of this new counter. Earlier, he used to stand for a long time in the queue for booking tatkal tickets. He had come prepared to book the ticket with the photocopy of an identity card, which has to be produced while booking tatkal tickets.

Cenoy Varghese of Kottayam, who finished M. Pharm. and had come to book a ticket to return to his home town for good, was in for a pleasant surprise. He said he was not aware of the new counter. He stood in the queue at the counter and got the ticket within 20 minutes. He usually has a bad experience while booking tatkal, he said.

Babu Kuttan and Girish Kumar, who booked tickets to Thiruvalla in Kerala too expressed happiness about the opening of the counter.

One problem the people faced was that there was no Railways official to guide people to this counter. People requiring tickets other than self tatkal tickets also queued up before the counter. One person, who got to know that the counter is meant only for tatkal tickets between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. later came to know that the counter was handling all kinds of applications.

Southern Railway’s Palakkad Division’s Public Relation Officer S. James told The Hindu that in all 13 of the 34 applications handled in the counter were for self tatkal tickets.

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