The Railways plans to probe its officials to find out if they have links with touts and cartels that book tickets.
The railways see a huge surge in passengers when people across the country celebrate some of their biggest festivals like Diwali.
For the first time, the Railway Board has directed the zonal railways to team up with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and raid both authorised and unauthorised travel agencies to check reservations under fictitious names and subsequent sale of these tickets.
A note from the Railway Board’s vigilance department has asked Northern Railway to scan all transactions at the passenger reservation systems and note “unusually high transactions” at any counter, to check a possible nexus between touts and officials.
“Travel agencies, which are being run by close relatives of railways employees, may be discreetly identified,” says the note from A.P. Mishra, advisor (Vigilance) to Northern Railway General Manager Vivek Sahai.
“Close watch be kept on connivance of other railway employees with ticket counter staff in seeking tickets from behind the counter,” the note adds.
Every year, the Railways intensifies its drive against unauthorised travel agents and touts who book tickets under false names during peak passenger seasons like summer, Durga Puja and Diwali. These tickets are then sold to desperate customers for an exorbitant “fee”.