Corruption in Eastern and South-Eastern Rail in allotment of tickets under Tatkaal scheme
The government has changed the earlier system of booking tickets under Tatkaal scheme by reducing the time of advance booking from three days to a single day. The window for booking tickets under Tatkaal scheme opens at 10 AM for AC class and at 11AM for non-AC class on the previous day of the journey date so that the brokers are kept away and tickets can be purchased by genuine travellers in emergency. But at least in Kolkata, these brokers and black marketeers have invented a ingenious way to defeat that purpose which I discovered when I paid a visit to a reservation counter at Rabindra Sadan on Friday morning, 11th. October, 2019 to purchase a ticket for Delhi under Tatkaal scheme.
The queue was there full of at least of ten brokers who were collecting money from the interested travellers and they were organizing the queue by keeping their men at the front and we were pushed at the end of the same. All these were happening before the eyes of the RPF personnels present there. A separate queue was formed for ladies on the other side of the gate of the reservation office. When at the appointed time we proceeded to the counters on the first floor of the building, all four counters reserved for the booking were being controlled by the men who were earlier collecting 800 rupees extra charges from their customers. I was the last man at counter no.1. As per rule there will be only one ticket that can be purchased by any person and multiple requisitions are not allowed. All the five men standing before me gave their requisitions to the booking clerk and put the money on the counter and the clerk started booking the tickets at a furious speed. Surprisingly he never bothered to count the money put forth by all these men but kept them separately on his table for each ticket. As soon as their tickets were booked and I approached the counter, he just gave a vacant look at my requisition slip and told me that no ticket was available on any train to Delhi as the quota was over sold. So the question came to my mind that how did the booking clerk know that no ticket was available without even going through the system? So I returned empty-handed and determined to be the first man in the queue the next day, that is, on Saturday for the journey on Sunday. At that time I overheard the laments from the ladies' queue that despite having a separate counter for them, not a single ticket could be booked from that window whereas in other counters up to five tickets were issued to the brokers.
I called a friend of mine who happens to be a retired railway employee working in Eastern Railway and was able to contact him around noon as he was out to a hospital in a medical emergency. When I told him about my problem and predicament, what he told me in return was more astonishing. He informed me that in all booking offices in Kolkata, be it Koilaghat, Sealdah, Howrah, Rabindra Sadan or any other like Fairly Place (HQ of ER), the queue for a certain day is formed by the illicit brokers a day in advance by enrolling their names in a list kept with the RPF personnels manning the queue. So as soon as business for Friday session is over, they enlist their names with the RPF personnel again for the next day. So no way a common man and a genuine traveler can hope to get a place at the head of the queue the next day even or the following day. Regular payment flows from these brokers to the RPF and booking clerks from the extra amount charged by them from their customers which range from 800 to 2000 depending on the class. Also the attitude of the booking clerk towards me and the ladies in the queue clearly pointed to that even if you manage to reach the counter in time, you will not be issued tickets without extra payment so that you understand the importance of these middlemen and use their services. When I alighted down the stairs, I saw those people again jostling at the head of the queue for the non-AC class which will be issued an hour later.
So my question to the Hon'ble Railway Minister and the rail authority in ER and SER, if the queue is so clandestinely manipulated by the brokers-RPF-booking clerk nexus, then what is the point in reducing the advance booking time under Tatkaal scheme from 3 days to one day? If it is the intention of this government to weed out corruption, then why this unholy nexus is being allowed to operate every day to book their position for the next day with RPF personnels who are supposed to manage the queue only, not the ticketing system? No such advance queue list by RPF is anywhere in the railway's understanding of rules for Tatkaal scheme. So in effect the tickets are being booked two days in advance of the journey date without the genuine public being notified about that. So a genuine traveler, even if he reaches the gate of the booking office at 4 AM in the morning, he has no hope of getting a ticket in rush period under Tatkaal scheme as he has no hope of standing at the head of the queue as the list of next day has been surreptitiously made the previous day itself.
OR may be I was mistaken. No body including the government machinery does not want to corruption to go out. more
On Sun, 13 Oct 2019, 09:49 Asis Kumar Das, <email@example.com>