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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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Richa Chadha Urges To Save Elephants From Being Mowed By Trains

Richa notes in her letter, Asian elephants are considered to be endangered, and there are at most only 50,000 of them left worldwide.

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Richa Chadha
It was happy accident: Richa Chadha on singing debut. Flickr

Ahead of World Elephant Day August 12, actress Richa Chadha has urged People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ask India’s railway ministry to implement safety measures to prevent elephant deaths on train tracks.

In a letter to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal Richa said: “Recently, a speeding train struck and killed a family of elephants in Odisha, adding to a toll that makes India the nation with the highest number of train accidents involving elephants.”

Elephants
Asian Elephant. Pixabay

The 31-year-old actress has requested “that among the solutions implemented, states be required to survey and monitor railway lines for elephant activity and to reduce and restrict train speeds in corridors frequented by these animals in order to save lives.”

Richa notes in her letter, Asian elephants are considered to be endangered, and there are at most only 50,000 of them left worldwide. Yet between 2016 and 2017, dozens of them were killed in India because of trains, and over the years, the number of these types of deaths has been increasing.

Also Read: Elephant Parade Comes to India for the First Time: Statues of 101 life-sized baby Elephants Transformed into Beautiful works of Art

In a span of 23 years – from 1987 to 2010 – 150 elephants died while crossing railway tracks, but in only eight years, from 2009 to 2017, 120 were killed in the same way, a statement from PETA read. (IANS)

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