Concerned with the menace that touts pose, Western Railway (WR) has decided to adopt a biometric system for booking tickets. It is expected to be implemented shortly at all important stations.
If applied properly it will prevent touts from booking multiple train tickets or multiple tickets in one train. The system designed is quite simple. A person will have to give his left thumb impression while booking a ticket. Once the person’s identity is registered in the system, he can’t book a ticket from the PRS (passenger reservation system) more than twice a day.
WR is also planning to demand I-cards from all those who come for booking tickets at the PRS. The booking clerk at the reservation window and RPF staff will demand I-cards. This is to ensure that touts don’t enter a reservation centre twice.
Sharatchandra Yaan, chief PRO of WR, said the system is being implemented in Mumbai on a pilot basis. Loopholes observed will be rectified and then it will be implemented in other stations. “We don’t want touts take advantage of the new system and so have introduced it on a pilot basis. We want to make the biometric system foolproof,” he added.
When introduced the system will help lakhs of migrants living in Surat who wish to visit their native states. There is heavy rush for seats in long-distance trains going to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal. The rush is at its peak during festivals and vacation period. People wanting to travel seldom get seats at these times as touts corner tickets with the help of the booking staff. With this system there is a chance that people will get seats without the help of agents.