September 20, 2014 2:06:54 am
The government Friday admitted that its railway reservation system was being misused by agents and touts, which prompted it to push for online booking.
Submitting an affidavit in the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Railways said the system of booking through counters was being abused by agents and touts, and that the Comptroller and Auditor General had highlighted this in a report.
“There were reports of misuse of reservation system by unscrupulous elements, including Railway Travellers Service Agents (RTSAs). The complaints included purchase of tickets by jumping the queue, sometimes in connivance with Railways staff, blocking accommodation on the opening day of reservation by putting agents in front of the queue, blocking accommodation under fictitious names and selling it to passengers, and persuading passengers to confirm tickets through agents,” the affidavit said.
It added: “Presence of RTSAs in large numbers in the queue also gives a wrong signal to other passengers, resulting in overcrowding of reservation counters.”
Defending its decision to ban the entry of agents in the Passenger Reservation System (PRS), from where tickets can be booked through counters, the ministry said it was done following reports of the system being misused.
The ministry was responding to a petition by the Association of RTSAs, which has challenged the 2014 RTSA rules. The new rules, which came into effect from May 28, bar agents from entering the computerised reservation centre of the railways. Like everyone else, agents can book tickets only through the Internet.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.