OTP should be compulsory for rail ticket booking, says RPF DG

Tête-à-tête: Director General of RPF Arun Kumar (centre) at a media interaction on Wednesday.

Tête-à-tête: Director General of RPF Arun Kumar (centre) at a media interaction on Wednesday.  

RBI approached to help reduce e-ticket touting; 79 racketeers arrested

Calling the fight against e-ticket touting “multilayered and multidirectional”, Director General (DG) of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) Arun Kumar, said they were approaching banks and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make it mandatory for all railway ticket transactions to be completed with a one-time password (OTP).

“There is a provision that OTP is not required for transactions under ₹2,000. We have taken this up with the RBI and asked them to have an OTP as far as railway tickets are concerned,” Mr. Kumar said during an interaction on Wednesday.

He said the force had successfully neutralised two key software — ANMS and MAC — which accounted for nearly 80% of all illegal ticketing online. “We are aware that some illegal software continues to be in the market. We are keeping a close eye on them and are working to neutralise them as well,” Mr. Kumar said. The RPF, in multiple nationwide raids, had seized and blocked 27,948 live tickets booked through MAC amounting to ₹7.96 crore and had recovered used tickets to the tune of ₹30 crore.

Mr. Kumar said nearly 79 people connected with the racket had been caught and were being questioned and added that the Tatkal window of key trains now remained open for much longer. “The Tatkal window for the two-tier AC on Pushpak Express, which runs from Mumbai to Lucknow, had shut in 4 minutes after opening at 10 a.m. on October 29, 2019, but on February 9, 2020, it took 41 minutes to be fully booked,” he said.

He said that the illegal software typically tried to bypass the digital queue on the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation website by dispensing the need to enter the captcha code and OTP while booking tickets. “We are working closely with the commercial department of the Railways as well as the Centre for Railway Information Systems to make the ticketing system more robust,” he said.

Mr. Kumar also said the RPF had increasingly started looking at cyber crime and that one of the key changes proposed would be to the Railways Act, which he said was increasing the penalty and quantum of punishment for touting.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 3:37:18 AM |

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