Centralized token system for Tatkal tickets draws flak

Nagpur (NGP): The Central Railway decision to centralize token system for Tatkal tickets has come in for sharp criticism from passengers who are facing grave inconvenience. Of and on there have been complaints from harried passengers that they are issued tokens for counters at the east side (Santra Market) of the station from main reservation office at the west side.

Most of the time it happens that by the time passengers reach the Santra Market side, Tatkal quota is finished. On Friday, at least 20 passengers were directed to the east side of the station and they failed to get berths. How many could get confirmed Tatkal tickets could not be known but woman passenger complained that her son failed to get a berth as he was not communicated that he had to go to counters at Santra Market side.

“We both were in queue from 7.30am for tickets to Mumbai and Howrah. My son was issued a form with SM written on it but was not told SM means Santra Market. He was in line at main station and when his turn came, he was told he had to go to Santra Market side. The clerk concerned was not ready to accept the form and was rude. Lot of time was wasted and when he finally went to east side, no ticket was left,” said Purnima Banerjee.

“It is really foolish to issue tokens for east side from west side. When there are three counters at Santra Market side, why Tatkal tokens are not issued there itself,” asked Banerjee.

The Central Railway made lot of noise about the home platform on the east side but has failed to address the issue of Tatkal tokens, she added. At 2pm,  it was sought to know from Central Railway PRO PD Patil the reasons for this anomaly. Patil did not come up with a reply till late evening. A SMS sent to him was also not replied to.

“Passengers have to cross a long distance to reach east side. Moreover, they park vehicles at the west side and have to return. If Tatkal tokens are issued from there they will not have to come back,” said another passenger Deepak Khade. Khade said passengers had to buy a platform ticket to walk through the station premises to east side. “It is better if tokens are issued from east side itself,” he added.

Passenger Neil Banerjee said if person with token No. 8 is in queue at main station and No 9 has been allotted Santra Market side. How will the passenger know which number is on display at that side? “Role of touts cannot be ruled out in this system,” he alleged.