Award-winning rail officer violates ticketing norms

After Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal’s nephew was named in a graft case, another case of corruption has put an award winning Chief Vigilance Inspector of the railways in the dock. The inspector was recently given a Railway Board award for his extraordinary work in busting rackets in ticket sales.

An RTI query by booking clerk Ajay Bose (right) raises corruption allegations against award-winning Chief Vigilance Officer Ramchandran (left)

TA Ramchandran, a chief vigilance inspector, has allegedly misused his position to violate rules and buy tickets using his duty pass and privilege pass. Ajay Bose, a booking clerk at CST, filed an RTI query to prove Ramchandran misused his passes. A railway official’s duty pass allows him to get a ticket for official work. However, in Ramchandran’s case, two tickets were booked using the duty pass for the same time.

Bose says that Ramchandran also abused his privilege pass, which can be used not more than once in four months for family members. “A railway employee cannot use his privilege pass more than once in 4 months,” added Bose. In February 2011, Ramchandran booked reservations on two different trains using his duty pass.

“He did not even cancel the other tickets. It clearly means railway money is being misused and he got some other person to travel on his pass. Ramchandran didn’t cancel the other train ticket causing loss to the railway revenue. Bonafide passengers on the waiting list were denied reservation becasue of that,” said Bose.

Bose said, “He booked tickets for him and his wife with his privilege pass and again used the pass to book tickets for his family members, including his kids. I want to know how he could do this, and why didn’t anybody question him over using the same pass for two bookings?”

Last month, when Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal visited the city, Ramchandran was one of 13 people awarded for excellence at work. He helped bust a racket of 46 touts and 4 unauthorized agents from Kolkata, Bihar who sold tickets in Mumbai for higher prices.

When contacted, CR spokesperson V A Malegaonkar, said that he would have to go through the documents before commenting on the issue. “Generally rules are properly laid down and if any railway employee is found violating the rule administrative action is taken,” he added. MiD DAY tried contacting Ramchandran but he did not reply to our phone calls. 

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