Saturday, June 30, 2012

Transfer booking clerks, clip RPF powers: Users

Transfer booking clerks, clip RPF powers: Users



Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN
Jul 1, 2012, 04.41AM IST






NEW DELHI: A day after the railways announced measures to check touts and the black market for proxy tickets, TOI readers, including former railway officials, cited other concerns and pitched alternative ideas to address the problem.






Railway officials pointed out how the department's vigilance unit — unlike in neighbouring countries — has been granted quasi-judicial powers. "Unless the RPF is made accountable like the GRP, things cannot improve,'' said a retired official.






Another official called for a transparent policy of transferring booking clerks within a fixed duration. "At present, a clerk works at a booking office for years. It's easy to develop a nexus with touts. Things will improve at the booking offices only if clerks are regularly transferred,'' said an officer.






Some passengers wrote to TOI seeking separate Tatkal booking timings for different trains. "The railways' idea of opening separate Tatkal lines and pushing the opening of counters to after 10 am are contradictory. The agents will again stand for hours before these special counters, blocking out common passengers. The only answer is to stagger Tatkal booking timings for each train," wrote a passenger.






The Railway Police Force on Saturday morning launched simultaneous raids across Delhi and arrested four touts. Raids are also being conducted at ticket booking offices and several unauthorized agents have been detained. TOI had written about touts cornering most of the tickets, in a weeklong series.






The railways will soon have separate counters and timings for Tatkal bookings, CCTVs will be installed at all booking centres and several changes will be made in e-ticketing as well as to curb malpractices. Officials have proposed to start Tatkal bookings from 10am and other advance bookings from 8am. The railways is planning to make identity cards compulsory for all reservations. Railway minister Mukul Roy will hold a meeting of top railway officials on Monday to discuss the proposals.






The railways is also considering changing the Internet booking system to ensure that only one Tatkal booking is made per computer system. The railway ministry is planning to get a software that will allow just one booking per IP address.


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