Tatkal train tickets at double the price! What Indian Railways is doing to bust touts

By: | Published: November 6, 2018 11:34 AM

To identify touts who block tatkal tickets before users can book them, especially during the festive season, Indian Railways is now systematically monitoring user IDs, payment gateways as well as booking locations.

indian railwaysPassengers can book tatkal tickets a day before the departure of a train.

Not sure about the availability of tatkal train tickets? Indian Railways trying different ways to bust touts! To identify touts who block tatkal tickets before users can book them, especially during the festive season, Indian Railways is now systematically monitoring user IDs, payment gateways as well as booking locations, according to officials quoted in an HT report. The new method is quite different and far more effective than the age-old practice of crackdown through field intelligence on those selling train tickets at higher rates, according to officials. Passengers can book tatkal tickets a day before the departure of a train. These tatkal tickets cost around 10% to 30% more than the base fare.

While booking a tatkal ticket, the user generally spends around two minutes filling basic details before reaching the final page for booking. On the other hand, touts use software that takes them directly to the payments page, a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official was quoted saying in the report. Therefore, when bookings for tatkal tickets opened at 10:00 AM, officials noticed that all the tickets were sold out in seconds. These tickets were bought by touts who used to sell them at double the price.

According to another official, the field intelligence was not sufficient to break such gangs who are hi-tech. Thus, they contacted tech experts and started monitoring the official website for ticket booking, i.e., IRCTC website. He further claimed that the team monitored if similar user IDs are being used for ticket bookings. He said that the other method was to see if same details regarding payment were used for multiple ticket bookings. The official said that a fake user does not change the payment details for every booking. He added that they checked the location through URLs used at payment gateways as well as conducted live raids. The first official cited above said that as many as 891 touts were arrested till November 2 and tickets worth Rs 5.75 crore were recovered. The figure is more than double the amount of tickets, which were seized in 2017. Last year, 1,179 people were arrested and tickets worth Rs 2.23 crore were recovered, he added.

A Railway spokesperson quoted in the report said that Indian Railways ha launched the drive, considering the festive period. He claimed that in more than 100 cities, simultaneous raids against e-ticket touting were conducted.

Moreover, out of over 50 million users, a list of most suspected personal user IDs was made. He added that as many as 1,268 personal user IDs, being used to carry out touting activities, were sent to IRCTC for immediate deactivation.

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