मुंबई Mumbai: Vinod Tawde, a senior BJP leader in Maharashtra and leader of the Opposition in the Council, has written a letter to the railway minister to draw his attention towards a possible racket being run by some booking agents who have developed a software for e-bookings. Mr Tawde has requested the Union rail minister Sadananda Gowda to look into the matter as it has been affecting and challenging the efforts of the railways to serve the common man.
In his letter Mr Tawde has said, “Science and technology has created milestones in each and every sphere of life and has become the need of the hour. But some people with criminal mind are misusing this technology. For instance, I have received complaints from people traveling to Konkan for upcoming Ganesh festival. As booking opens two months prior to the traveling date, they were waiting full night in queues at reservation counters. But when the counter opened, they were shocked after getting their tickets. The first ticket issued was on waiting list, that too over 300.”
The copy of the complaint sent to Mr Gowda further reads, “Actually some booking agents have developed a software for e-booking and they use this software to manage the bookings before the counters open online. This is a syndicate of some railway officers and booking agents, creating a racket. Such rackets should be broken and people waiting full night should get confirmed tickets.”
Mr Tawde has also requested the minister to inquire into the matter and take strict action against those found guilty.“Ganesh Chaturthi falls on August 29 and thousands of devotees are standing in the queues all night to get confirmed tickets, but none of them are getting confirmed tickets. This cannot happen without the connivance of agents and rail officers,” said Mohan Keluskar, president of Konkan Vikas Aghadi, an organisation that addresses the woes of Konkani community.
He added, “Railways saying that bookings are made throughout the country offices is a farce as no one gets confirmed ticket from the railway windows.” When contacted, Narendra Patil, chief PRO of Central Railway, said, “We have not received such complaints earlier. However, our RPF and commercial staff have successfully cracked down a few such cases where touts, through many login IDs at many computers, were booking the tickets simultaneously near Mumbai Central.”
Commenting upon the issue, Vaishali Patange, chief PRO of Konkan Railway said, “We are not facing this problem at KR. There is strict vigil at all our stations by the RPF and commercial personnel. Wherever there have been repeated complaints, we have installed CCTV cameras to address the issues.”