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The great Indian Tatkal scam! Here’s why you never got the train ticket in time

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Ever wondered why it is such a tedious task to get railway tickets booked in Tatkal? Well, here’s the answer. The Railways has found the reason behind the perpetual complaints of passengers not being able to get confirmed tickets even after turning up at the ticket counters at 10 in the morning, a time when the Tatkal windows open across India.

An internal probe revealed that 4000 confirmed berths were hoarded by scamsters within a minute if the opening of Tatkal Window, The Indian Express reported.

These touts who sell tickets at a higher price to passengers in need, were exploiting a “facility” in the reservation software. The facility allows someone who has already purchased a ticket to tweak journey details and book another train within seconds at the last moment.

Touts would buy tickets relatively for unpopular trains a day earlier and then exchange them within a matter of seconds for tickets on demanded trains between 10 am and 10:01 am.

“This took seconds,” Ajay Shukla, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, told the English daily. “We have now disabled this facility for the first hour after the system opens,” he added.

Booking clerks and other insiders were also involved in this multi crore scam. The railway ministry is devising a plan to take action against specific people involved in the scam.

Four arrests have already been made. The accused, identified as Mehtab Khan, Mehboob Malik, Santaram Yadav alias Pappu and P Naga Kumar, have been booked for cheating and criminal conspiracy. They also have violated the Information Technology Act, 2000.

After disabling the facility the railway officials closely monitored the booking patterns around India and observed that instead of 4000 train changes only a few changes were made in the first minute. “We believe those are genuine transactions by passengers altering their journeys,” Shukla said.

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Railway Minister launches first phase of station redevelopment Program for 23 major Railway Stations across India

The Railways will provide 140 acres of encroachment-free land for the development of these stations under a public-private partnership (PPP) model

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Indian Railways, Wikimedia

New Delhi, Feb 8, 2017: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday launched the first phase of station redevelopment programme for 23 major railway stations across the country.

As part of the programme, the Railways will take up 400 stations in 100 top cities for redevelopment into smart stations, equipped with self-ticketing system, escalators and better amenities for the passengers.

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 The entire project, that is being touted as the world’s largest such programme, will use at least 2,200 acres of land and see investments worth Rs 1 lakh crore.

The 23 stations that will be redeveloped in the first phase include Chennai Central, Ranchi, Udaipur City, Indore, Yesvantpur, Bangalore Cantonment, Visakhapatnam, Howrah, Kamakhya, Faridabad, Jammu Tawi, Secunderabad, Vijayawada, Kozhikode and Bhopal.

The first phase will utilise a budget of Rs 6000-9000 crore, and the tenders will awarded through free bidding.

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The Railways will provide 140 acres of encroachment-free land for the development of these stations under a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

Speaking at the occasion, Prabhu said that “the Railways have certain advantages out of which one is holding of land on a large-scale” and that stations are a place “where lots of people wait to board a train and thus Railway Stations can be developed into an iconic property”.

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He said that smart stations are a prerequisite of a smart city and upon completion a total of 16 million passengers will be able enjoy the facilities at these stations.

Other amenities at the redeveloped stations will include digital signage, executive lounges, luggage screening machines, walkways, holding areas for passengers, grand and distinctive roofing and flooring, and free and paid Wi-Fi, among others. (IANS)

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Indian Railways and IRCTC to Include Transgender Option in Railway Ticket Forms

In a commendable move, Indian Railways and IRCTC have included "transgender as the third gender" in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female

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Representational image. Wikimedia

New Delhi, November 27, 2016: In a commendable move, Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) have included “transgender as the third gender” in the option in ticket reservation and cancellation forms alongside male and female.

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According to PTI, “The decision which was taken on a representation made by a lawyer will include the facility for reservations and cancellations, both online as well offline.”
The Delhi-based lawyer made the representation after the Delhi High Court in February asked him to approach the Railway Ministry while disposing of his petition.

The ministry in its circular referred to the direction of the apex court of April 2014 and said that eunuchs, hijras, apart from binary gender, be treated as third gender for the protection of their rights.

“Supreme Court (in the judgement) has directed that Hijras, Eunuchs, apart from binary gender, be treated as the third gender for the purpose of safeguarding their rights under Part III of our Constitution and the laws made by the parliament and the State Legislature. “

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“It has, therefore, been decided to include the third gender/transgender option alongside male/female in reservation /cancellation requisition form. This information will be captured by the system and tickets to transgender will be issued on full fare,” the circular stated.

Before the High Court, Advocate Jamshed Ansari in his PIL had alleged violation of Article 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution by IRCTC, by non-inclusion of “transgender/third gender” as a gender option in its reservation and cancellation forms.

He had also sought compliance of the apex court judgment in which it directed the Centre as well as the state governments to recognise transgender as the third sex, and to give them with the benefits provided to socially and economically backward classes.

The advocate further demanded reserved seats and special coaches for the transgender community in all trains, for their protection and care.

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On which the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini had asked the ministry to look into the allegation made in the writ petition.

prepared by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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Delhi Court grants Bail to Former Delhi Minister Sandeep Kumar in Rape Case

He was booked under Sections 376 (committing rape) and 328 (causing hurt with poison, with an intent to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code

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Sandeep Kumar, ex-minister of Aam Aadmi Party. Facebook

New Delhi, November 8, 2016: A Delhi court on Monday granted bail to former Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar, who was arrested on the charge of rape.

Special Judge Poonam Chaudhry granted bail to Kumar, who was sacked from the Aam Aadmi Party government after the case came to light.

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The former Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Minister, who was also suspended from the AAP, was arrested on September 3 on a complaint filed with the Sultanpuri police station in north Delhi by a woman who figured in a sex video with him.

He was booked under Sections 376 (committing rape) and 328 (causing hurt with poison, with an intent to commit an offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

The AAP legislator was also charged under Section 67-A (publishing or transmitting material containing sexually explicit act in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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The woman said in her complaint that she was sexually harassed by Kumar at his office-cum-residence in the Sultanpuri area where she had gone to get her ration card made.

In his bail plea, Kumar said he was in custody for nearly two months whereas the case probe is still incomplete.

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He said his conduct since the registration of a first information report had been good and unquestionable and he had himself surrendered before the police.

The Delhi Police, while opposing the bail plea, told the court he can try to influence witnesses and the complainant if released on bail. (IANS)