A vigilance drive conducted from January to September this year has found that as many as 1,556 railway employees such as booking clerks, TTEs and security personnel were involved in malpractices in Tatkal ticket reservation areas at different stations, mostly in the Delhi division of Northern Railway. Many of them were found hand in glove with Tatkal ticket touts.
"Suitable action has been taken against the railway employees. Depending upon the nature of malpractice, we chargesheet, transfer and suspend such staff. Services are also terminated," said a senior official.
He said 80% of such cases were reported from stations in Delhi and adjoining areas. Delhi has five railway stations - Nizamuddin, Old Delhi, New Delhi, Sarai Rohilla and Anand Vihar. New Delhi is the busiest one with about five lakh footfalls every day.
Vigilance sleuths have also apprehended, during this period, 699 touts, 25 unauthorised travel agents, 1,597 persons travelling on transferred tickets and 208 unauthorised vendors. "While legal action is being taken against touts, agents and vendors, passengers were let off after being fined," the official said.
"We laid a total of 42 successful traps in the areas of booking of Tatkal tickets by rail travel service agents (RTSAs). An amount of Rs 9,58,135 was realised from passengers travelling on transferred tickets," he said.
"The traps have revealed that RTSAs are involved in booking Tatkal tickets during restricted hours, without ID proof and by overcharging passengers heavily. The licences of such agents have been terminated," he said.
"TTEs have also been found involved in malpractices. Like for, example, on September 5, we caught a TTE with the trap cash of R1000, along with unaccounted for cash of Rs 3,560. He was carrying unauthorised passengers in coaches managed by him. He has been suspended and departmental action initiated," he said.
"We also found that a traffic inspector of accounts at a station asked for a bribe of R25,000. We laid a trap and caught him accepting R5,000 as bribe. Action is being taken against him," the official said. The railways have been carrying out drives to break the nexus of officials and touts but with little success.