Ahmedabad Railway Division, with an aim to ensure that passengers face no problems due to misuse of railway tickets by touts, has decided to introduce a biometric system at its Passenger Reservation System (PRS). This will prevent touts from cornering tickets for long-distance trains, said sources. “Ticket buyers will be required to give their left thumb impression at the time of booking the ticket. Once the person’s identity is registered in the system, he/she will not be allowed to book ticket from the PRS more than twice in day,” said railway official. When a ticket buyer’s record is established, he won’t be able to buy tickets again and again. In other words, the unacceptable practice of touts is likely to be eliminated, said sources.
“Currently these touts stay on railway stations for days together, book most of the tickets as soon as the counters open and later sell these to their own ‘clients’,” said sources. This hampers the interests of average, genuine passengers. Till now, a token system was in place, which was misused as there was no record of ticket buyers, said sources. This method is being implemented in Ahmedabad city, first. Thereafter it might be extended to other stations under this division. It is already in place at a few railway stations in Mumbai and Indore. The modalities are already being worked out and method is likely to be in place within next 3 -4 months. An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 tickets are reserved from Ahmedabad station and around 10,000 persons travel from here on a daily basis, said sources. Commenting on this, DRM (Ahmedabad Division) A K Tiwari said , “We have also asked the booking clerks and the RPF (Railway Police Force) to check the identity card of the persons who come to book tickets at the PRS centre. If this method goes on well here, we are going to extend it to other centres within Ahmedabad division.”