Railway employees involved in ticket malpractices have outnumbered touts by a good margin.
In a vigilance drive carried out during the ongoing summer rush at different Northern Railway locations, 116 touts were caught between March 1 and May 17. But the number of railway staff found involved in ticket malpractices during the same period stands at 252.
This has come in less than a month after a draft report of Parliament's public accounts committee (PAC) sought action against railway staff conniving with touts.
The report said illegal, bulk booking of tickets by agents continues due to "active connivance" of railway staff manning the passenger reservation system.
Information provided by the Northern Railway says its vigilance squads found 21 authorised travel agents over-charging, issuing tickets during banned hours and not maintaining records.
As many as 10 unauthorised agents were also caught. Five passengers were found travelling on transferred tickets.
These checks were carried out at reservation centres, platforms, parcel offices, catering units and on trains.
"A large number of cases of tickets booked in fictitious names were also detected. Many such were recovered from unauthorised travel agents. Action has been initiated against all railway staff, agents and touts," said a senior railway official.
The 116 apprehended touts were prosecuted by railway magistrates under section 143/144 of Railways Act 1989. The drive will continue to check such malpractices, the official said.
The Northern railway arrested 74 persons from its premises for being involved in ticket touting during 118 raids conducted ahead of the Holi rush from March 1 to March 20.
Raids were also conducted on the premises of authorised and unauthorised ticket agencies to prevent blocking of reservations under fictitious names and subsequent sale of transferred tickets. During these checks, 52 touts and seven agents were caught.
The PAC report says genuine users for whom Tatkal and advance reservation system was intended were unable to benefit with ease because of the manipulation.