Passengers-only rail booking counters to drive away touts
Pune division of the railways to open up 14 additional reservation counters at its nine stations between Feb 22 and July 15, where only genuine passengers will be sold tickets
Taking into consideration the heavy rush of people travelling for vacation during the coming months, the Pune railway division has decided to introduce additional reservation counters at stations for faster service. The move will also help the authorities sift the crowd of touts cluttering up the reservation queues.
As per the plan, 14 more ticket counters will be opened up at all the nine stations under the Pune division from February 22 to July 15, catering solely to prospective passengers who want to travel themselves or with their relatives.
“The earmarked counters will open for an advance period (of 60 days) from 8 am to 9.50 am for reservation, and for tatkal tickets from 9.50 am to 10.45 am. After 10.45 am, these counters will function as normal counters,” said railway spokesperson Y K Singh.
“Between this specific time, reservation and tatkal tickets will be issued only to the passengers who desire to travel themselves or with their family. People coming to get reservation for themselves will have to submit a self-attested copy of their ID proof along with the original ID for verification.”
He added, “Currently, we have 26 windows at the main reservation centre at Pune railway station, and of these, 16 are always running.”
It usually happens that agents and touts stake claim at reservation windows, crowding them up to get tickets. The additional counters have been introduced to give legitimate passengers a fair chance at reservation.
“The system has been proposed to control touting activities at reservation offices, for the benefit of genuine passengers. Passengers are requested to cooperate in successful implementation of the system. It will filter the crowd, and people who want to get tickets early can get the benefit through these windows during the rush period,” said Singh.
Bhushan Mane, who travels frequently by the railways, said, “The new booking system will certainly help to streamline reservation, and make the common public a happy lot.”
A ‘fare’ deal
Railway activist Harshax Shah told MiD DAY, “A bug rush is there at reservation centres during vacation time, for which ticketing starts 60 days prior. And we cannot simply pull out people standing in the reservation line on the assumption that they are touts or agents. So for genuine travellers who want to get a ticket, this system is easier and time saving. It will definitely help the public, as well as the railway administration, as their burden would be reduced.”
The special 14 windows will come up at: Pune railway station, Chinchwad, Deccan Gymkhana, Khadki, Raviwar Peth, Shankar Seth Road, Miraj, Kolhapur and Camp reservation centres of the railways