Western Railway (WR) authorities have stopped issuing wait-listed tickets of all three classes of air-conditioned coaches after it noticed an almost 20% surge in booking from Thursday noon.
This means that passengers will be unable to book first, second and third AC class tickets of any train from WR ticket booking counters.
Mukul Jain, divisional railway manager of Western Railway, said that they have stopped issuing wait-listed tickets of dates beyond November 13. “Only genuine passengers will buy tickets if we stopped issuing wait-listed tickets,” said Jain, adding that this restriction on booking will be limited till November 12.
As the government has discontinued Rs500 and Rs1,000 denomination currency notes to curb the black money menace, the Western Railways witnessed a sudden increase in the sales of long-distance tickets at its reservation counters. Hence, it was closely monitoring the bookings of air-conditioned coaches and group tickets.
On an average, WR’s ticketing sales during the off-season is Rs85 lakh to Rs90 lakh. The figure touched Rs1.79 crore on Wednesday with an increase in 100% bookings, said officials. Similarly, Central Railway (CR) long-distance ticketing sales increased to Rs1.72crore from Rs1.2crore.
The sudden increase has alarmed railway officers who suspected that people are buying outstation tickets only to cancel them at a nominal fee in a bid to get their currency notes exchanged to lower denominations or new ones. This could affect railway booking and earning as well, they said.