Activist Anees Khan writes to the investigating agency that information from Vigilance Commission shows that 69 per cent of the complaints are against the Railways

Mumbai : A team from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) swooped down on the outstation reservation centre at Andheri on Tuesday morning. The raid which started at 8 am was still on at the time of going to press.

The raid was conducted after RTI activist Anees Khan wrote to the CBI saying that information accessed by him from the Central Vigilance Commission showed that 69 per cent of the complaints over the last five years were against the railways. Of this, 52 per cent of the complaints were against the Western and Central Railways. Further, the bulk of the complaints were about black marketing of tickets and Andheri figured prominently in them.
When FPJ contacted S S Gawli, Superintendent of the CBI, he said, “The raid is yet not finished and we have not arrested anyone yet”. However, sources said that four clerks and four touts had been detained.
Khan (50), a member of Mumbai Suburban Passenger’s Association (MSPA), alleged that the nexus between touts and ticketing clerks is the strongest at Andheri and Mumbai Central.
According to Khan, there are more than 45 touts at Andheri who operate with the blessings of the RPF.
Rafique Shaikh (name changed), a ticketing agent from Bandra, who was aiding Khan said, “There is a loophole in the UTS software from which the tickets are booked. It allows the booking clerk to load four reservation slips (with 16 names) in the computer. The ticketing clerk has to just tap the `enter’ key at 10 am when the tatkal booking commences for the 16 persons (named by the touts) to get a confirmed ticket. The booking clerk gets Rs 300 per person for this during peak season.’’ This means that the clerk earns Rs 4,800 in two minutes.
When asked about the RTI details, WR Divisional Railway Manager, Shailendra Kumar said, “We are not aware of any such statistics in regards to Andheri. There is indeed touting but I cannot confirm whether Andheri tops the chart.”

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