Cache of 6 lakh PTCs worth Rs.8 Crore recovered from a Storeroom of Old Delhi station

New Delhi: In a scam unearthed from Railways’ own precincts, about 6 lakh printed card tickets (PTCs) worth over Rs 8 crore were recovered from a storeroom of Old Delhi railway station.

The unexpected haul from a storehouse of just one railway station has rattled the top management. The raid was done in wake of instructions by Northern Railway GM V K Gupta to curb black-marketing. The tickets, though still valid, are no longer in mass circulation. They are not accounted in any log and are believed to have been meant for peak season black-marketeering.

“Imagine new currency notes in circulation even while Reserve Bank is honouring notes which aren’t produced anymore. PCTs are issued during summer, festival or winter seasons for passengers who can’t buy tickets over the counter at the last minute. People buying PCTs are not only those who can’t afford reservation in upper classes. A lot of PCT purchasers approach TTEs after train departs and on payment of difference in fare travel in sleeper or even AC coaches. It is astonishing how big the cache was. It gives an idea of the scale of the operation,” said a Railways source.

PTCs-that resemble platform tickets-were a norm before introduction of Passenger Reservation System. In 2010, all divisions were asked to limit PCT reserves. Bigger stations were allowed a small supply to deal with passenger rush or as backup in case of electricity failure.

However, sources at the station said that on being asked the authorities at Old Delhi railway station couldn’t present historical accounts of PCT stocks. Other stations in the capital are understood to have at their disposal data of PCTs dating back one year.

According to sources, anticipating that PCT tickets could become an underhand source of revenue for those with access, a committee was constituted in each division to monitor consolidation of their records and their destruction. But these committees hardly did their job, with most PCTs still around, sources said.

The top railway management is now believed to have constituted a three-member committee in each division, comprising officials from accounts, commercial and railway station, to look into the consolidation of PCT records and arrange their destruction. The committees have been asked to submit reports within 2-3 months. Meanwhile, action against senior officials who failed to destroy PCTs has been initiated.

“We don’t have all details but we do know that an investigation is on. We will disclose details based on its result,” divisional railway manager A K Sachan said.