New Delhi: Stung by frequent complaints of malpractices in online ticket bookings, Indian Railways has been making continuous efforts to curb touting menace and to rid the train passengers of whimsical ticket agents.

In this context, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) has barred authorised agents from booking Tatkal online tickets from 8 am to 9 am.

The move is aimed at facilitating passengers to get easy access to Tatkal booking during this period.

IRCTC spokesperson PC Bihari admitted that there were discrepancies in making online bookings. “Some of the agents were using fake accounts on the IRCTC website for booking tickets. As a result, most of the genuine passengers remained deprived of online tickets,” he said.

Under the new guidelines, one person could avail only one ID and book maximum two tickets from 8 am to 9 am. No personal IDs could now be used for commercial purposes.

The agents on the other hand would be able to procure maximum two railway Tatkal e-tickets in a day and ten in a month. Earlier, the agents used to create multiple user IDs on IRCTC website thus making more than ten Tatkal bookings in a day.

Citing misuse of Tatkal e-ticket facility, the IRCTC has made such provision, Bihari said.
Under the facility, software named CAPTCHA would keep a track on the Tatkal bookings made online. The software would enable to ascertain the number of online Tatkal tickets prepared and cancelled.

The Railways has constituted anti-fraud teams to keep a watch on the IRCTC websites, which would monitor the user IDs as well. Those creating fake IDs or misusing the facility would be booked under the cyber crime.

Meanwhile, the agents have been facing a tough time in making reservation ever since the ban has been imposed on sale of e-tickets through private agents.