Railways crack down on online ticket touts

The RPF, along with the vigilance section of the railways, have raided several licensed and unlicensed travel agencies in the city in connection with buying e-tickets in bulk and selling them at a premium.

By Monalisa Chaudhuri in Calcutta
  • Published 27.10.17
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Calcutta: The RPF, along with the vigilance section of the railways, have raided several licensed and unlicensed travel agencies in the city in connection with buying e-tickets in bulk and selling them at a premium.

Instead of using government-approved IDs to book tickets on the IRCTC site, these agencies used multiple personal IDs to buy e-tickets in bulk.

Using such IDs for commercial purpose is a criminal offence but many agencies are doing that for a larger profit margin.

The result: thousands of people don't get tatkal tickets on the IRCTC site.

"Agents use personal IDs to book tickets simultaneously when the tatkal counter opens. So, people are forced to buy tickets from agents at a premium," an IRCTC vigilance official who has been part of the raids said.

Earlier, the railways had raided ticket counters to pick up touts who buy paper tickets in bulk and create an artificial shortage.

On Tuesday, a joint team of the RPF's crime intelligence branch and the anti-fraud section of the railways in Sealdah raided Indian Travel at Uttarayan Building on Dum Dum Road.

The officers seized 21 e-tickets worth Rs 51,160 bought through the IRCTC site using personal IDs and arrested the owner of the agency, Subrata Singha.

Another raid a couple of days ago resulted in the arrest of an authorised agent at Chand Travel Service on Tiretti Bazar Street. Officers had seized 270 e-tickets worth Rs 8 lakh. The tickets had been bought using personal IDs.

Raids in Chetla, MG Road, Tangra and Sealdah produced similar results.

Online Tatkal booking opens at 10.30am daily for registered agents. For general people with personal IDs, it starts at 10am. So, agents use personal IDs to book from 10am, an official said. Anyone with an IRCTC account can book up to 36 tickets or 24 Tatkal tickets in a month. A person has to register a mobile number to create an account with IRCTC. The same person can create many accounts with different mobile numbers.