The much awaited bio-metric machine was installed at the Bhopal railway station reservation counter on Monday. Preliminary demonstration of its performance was made to the satisfaction of railway authorities, who said that it would be made operational for general public in the next couple of days.
The railway administration expects that by using the latest technological innovation it would be able to control black marketing in tickets. Having failed to put a brake on activities of black marketers, the railway administration has already resorted to the practice of issuing hand-written tokens for the customers requiring railway reservation from the counters.
There have been frequent complaints by commuters about black-marketers thronging to the counters and getting reservation for the major trains in advance, thus preventing genuine commuters from getting the tickets who are then forced to buy such tickets at high prices. Commuters also claim that such anti-social elements also create ruckus at the reservation counters breaking lines and misbehaving with the commuters.
The bio-metric machine will issue paper tokens after taking an impression of the palm of the commuter. The serial number and the relevant booking window number will be written on the token. The same will be displayed on an electronic board when the turn of the commuter arrives.
The machine will keep a record of the palm-impression of each commuter and the second token will be issued only after eight hours of the first token. This will prevent the black-marketers. The railway authorities informed that it is planning to install such machine at the Habibganj railway station also.