I would like to stay anonymous
I would like to register for updates
get the latest news
We're glad you want to know more about Corruption and Bribery in India. We'll send you a weekly update on the latest happenings on I Paid a Bribe. We promise we won't ever sell or give away your information.
Tatkal scheme gets a facelift
By Juwairia Mekhri
The Indian railways ministry remodelled the Tatkal system protocol for booking tickets, to counter the corrupt practises of the police personnel, agents and touts. Tickets will be issued under this scheme only after 10.00 am instead of 8.00 am.
Computerised reservation centres and unreserved ticketing counters will remain open between 10 am and 10:30 am for trains running the next day. Stringent rules to prevent authorised agents, including those of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or the Rail Travel Service Agent, from booking tatkal tickets have been set in place.
The Tatkal Scheme or Instant Ticket scheme was introduced to provide an option to obtain reserved tickets for passengers planning last minute journeys. On Friday (June 29) morning, the Railway Ministry decided to cancel the scheme to counter the unholy nexus between police, agents and touts. This resulted in tickets being sold at inflated prices to passengers desperate for one.
Both passengers and the Railways suffered due these corrupt practices. It has now been decided that passengers must specify genuine reasons for emergency travel along with proof of identity.
These touts reportedly book tickets as soon as the counter is opened or book tickets online through their vast network. Every time someone logs in to book a ticket, the website displays endless waiting lists and unavailability of tickets. Genuine passengers are unable to get hold of tickets. These malpractices have defrauded the Ministry of Railways of crores of rupees annually.
Officials from the Railway department met with those from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) earlier this week and decided to reinforce vigilance at stations with the help of Railway Protection Force to keep touts in check.
The Railways routinely finds itself in the centre of scams. In April this year, a job scandal involving five individuals was busted. They were arrested for cheating unsuspecting youths by promising them jobs with the Indian Railways. The victims coughed up Rs.5 lakhs to 10 lakhs and handed it over to the tricksters. They realised later that they had received fake appointment letters.
Last year, two different scams were unearthed in September. The Railway department blew the cover off a Rs 660-crore scam involving private company Rashmi Metaliks. The concern reportedly transported lakhs of tonnes of iron ore meant for domestic purpose by misleading the Railways using false documents.
A bigger scam was unearthed by the Ministry that led to the suspension of the Chairman of the Railway Recruitment Board, Mr S. M. Sharma, for his involvement in recruitment for the department.
In this Railway recruitment scam, his son, Mr Vivek Bhardwaj demanded lakhs of rupees from candidates appearing for the recruitment test to leak question papers. He managed to earn Rs.15.5 crores through this practice.
In another case, a techie was arrested for selling pirated software to railway touts. This was used to hack into the IRCTC website and book tickets before the online booking commenced. These tickets were then sold in the black market for exhorbitant amounts.
Former Union railway minister Mr. Dinesh Trivedi, had stated in April this year that fallouts in the system are a result of the VIP (Very Important Person) quota. According to him, most leakages in the ticketing came from the VIP quota in which seats are allotted to important people to be used during emergencies.
Our website regularly receives complaints against Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) who fleece passengers. According to the data collected by our website, more than Rs. 58,65,000 were pocketed by corrupt TTEs during the last one year.
Only time will tell if passengers truly benefit or if new loopholes get created under this scheme.
3 comments | Total views
Report Against corruption
Being asked for a bribe?
Being harassed by officials to avail government services?
Do Not lose your voice against Corruption
Get The Latest News
If you want to know more about Corruption and Bribery in India, We'll send you a weekly update on the latest news on I Paid a Bribe.