That train-ticketing agents are a collective nuisance rather than a convenience is an open secret. However, Railway Protection Force (RPF) officials appear to have shut eyes and ears to the harassment faced by thousands of people in the city every day. In fact, an activist claims filing numerous complaints on the matter has failed to stir up the authorities from their slumber.
Toshesh Shukla (38), says he was very disturbed by the illicit activities in evidence at the Mulund reservation centre. He wrote a letter to the head office of RPF at CST on November 26, detailing his grievances about the illegal agents and problems faced by the common man. “More than 30-40 agents visit the centre at night to collect token numbers, which they sell in the morning at inflated prices to travellers who wish to avoid queues,” said Shukla, who is a social worker and an RTI activist.
According to Shukla, the agents disappear by 6 am after trading their tokens. “I have made many complaints regarding the annoyance, but I have not received any reply from the RPF staff,” he told MiD DAY. Moreover, passengers who wish to purchase tickets for long-distance trains often have to spend hours, and sometimes days, in queues.
“RPF officials don’t bother to listen to our complaints. I am now certain that such communications are relegated to dustbins. I filed an RTI plea on December 3 and was shocked by their response. RPF replied on December 28 that it has not received a single complaint on the matter,” maintained Shukla. “Usually grievance letters are forwarded to appropriate departments, but we will make inquiries,” said PRO for Central Railway AK Singh.