The government has played the cat and mouse game with railway ticket booking rackets ever since the inception of online ticket booking through IRCTC. To tackle the issue, the government is now planning to link Aadhaar-PAN with the login data of passengers why they book tickets on IRCTC. Not just that, it is also looking to link passports or other identifying documents of passengers.
In a press briefing, Arun Kumar, Director, Railway Protection Force (RPF) indicated that the step was necessitated since earlier steps have had little or no impact on the ground.
This is our future plan. We have to create a network first. We have almost done our work with Aadhaar authorities and we are doing the same with other identity cards. The moment the system is in place we will start using it.”
Mr. Kumar also informed the media about action taken on illegal software since December last year. He said that till May 2021, 14,257 touts were arrested and tickets worth Rs. 28.34 crore were seized.
However, actions against booking have often been controversial. Last year, an engineer was arrested for creating ticket booking applications ‘Super Tatkal’ and ‘Super Tatkal Pro’. The railway accused him of bypassing the IRCTC’s ticket booking system by creating an online platform for customers to book tickets in exchange for payments through a ‘coin’ based system.