Surat rail authorities out to nab touts

Times of India: The railway authorities have started surprise checking at Passenger Reservation System (PRS) centres in the city, including at Surat railway station, to root out the menace of touts.

The action comes after a report in TOI dated April 27, 2013 highlighted the plight of passengers at the PRS centres where gangs of touts hang around from morning hours for advance and current ticket bookings.

Even area railway manager (ARM) of Surat railway station, Rais Mirza, had a bad experience during a surprise checking at PRS facility at the railway station on Sunday. While Mirza was keeping an eye on the activities going on at the PRS centre, a tout identified as Dinesh Joshi approached him offering ‘quick service’ in getting a confirmed railway ticket.

The tout was immediately handed over to RPF and legal action was initiated against him.

“It was Sunday and I reached the PRS facility clad in jean and T-shirt. Even my staff could not recognise me. Suddenly, a tout approached me saying that he will get me a confirmed ticket. All I had to do is to pay him extra money. Without wasting a single minute, I caught hold of the tout and immediately called the RPF officials and handed him over,” said Mirza.

Mirza added, “If the PRS centre at the railway station is facing this nuisance, we could imagine how it would be at Athwagate and Udhana. The touts are finding an easy access to the PRS centres.”

A senior railway officer said, “RPF personnel are supposed to keep a close vigil on the illegal activities of the touts. However, they have failed in their endeavour. This is why we have to start surprise checking.”

The passenger rush has increased at the railway station because of summer vacation. The touts are involved in black-marketing of current railway tickets as well.

Mirza said, “We are coordinating with city police in nabbing the touts from the reservation centres.”