While several passengers face disappointment on not getting railway tickets through either the booking window or the internet, ticket touts selling tickets on inflated prices continue to flourish at the Ludhiana railway station.
Their presence can be ascertained by the fact that Railway Protection Force (RPF), Ludhiana, has arrested 10 such illegal agents in the past six months. One such tout was arrested red-handed by RPF inspector Yashwant Singh and his team on Tuesday evening.
The accused was identified as Lalit Kumar, who was found possessing two confirmed tickets from Ludhiana to Katihar and Ludhiana to Samastipur. Kumar was arrested in the past for the same offence and the case was under trial, Singh said.
With touts already laying hands on the available tickets, the common man standing in queue for hours cannot get a confirmed ticket.
“Every time I come to buy a ticket, I get it only in waiting list. But people who approach the ticket agents get confirmed tickets by paying more. What is the purpose of these reservation counters or the internet booking facility if the confirmed tickets are hijacked by the agents,” said Sadanand Gaur, a city resident.
RPF inspector Yashwant Singh said, “The nexus is big undoubtedly, but we are trying to rein it in. We have arrested 10 agents till now in this year. It's not easy to reach them, and thus we take help of informers as well as try to trap them with the help of decoy customers.”
“Ludhiana has a huge chunk of migrant population hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and these touts find it easy to make money from these people. But passengers should understand that they are paying more for no reason. If people stop doing business with these persons, they can't remain active for long,” Singh said, while appealing to the public to inform police about the touts.
Three minors arrested for roaming on railway tracks
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) arrested three minor boys after they were found roaming on the tracks of the main platform at the city railway station on Wednesday.
RPF inspector Yashwant Singh said the three rag-pickers were roaming on the tracks to pick up plastic bottles, when an RPF team saw the Shan-E-Punjab train approaching the platform. The team rushed to the track and rescued the boys.
Stating that the boys had been sent to the orphanage, Singh said crossing railway tracks without any designated crossing was a crime, which could invite both fine and imprisonment.