"We have launched a concerted drive against unscrupulous agents and deactivated 44,000 multiple user IDs till now. A handful of agents were trying to corner the tickets through these IDs causing inconvenience and harassment to general public," a senior IRCTC official said.
Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation operates the e-ticketing website of the national transporter. It has about 1.35 lakh registered agents on its rolls. Some of these agents had opened multiple user IDs using the same mobile numbers and e-mail IDs.
"Our vigilance teams have also deactivated more than five lakh such IDs created by individuals," the official said, adding, "these individuals are basically unauthorised agents."
Plagued by increasing complaints from genuine passengers about unavailability of tickets, Railways have undertaken a slew of measures including change of Tatkal booking time and more restrictions on agents.
The revised booking time for Tatkal tickets was enforced on July 10 and since then, the IRCTC has been closely monitoring the bookings and even cancelling suspicious ones. Now agents are not allowed to book Tatkal tickets between 10 AM and 12 noon.
The move to segregate Tatkal booking timings from the advance reservation period, which opens at 8 AM, has led to a massive jump in the booking of online tickets.
"The total ticket booking has gone up to 74,000 including 46,000 Tatkal tickets in the first two hours after July 10. Prior to this the total booking was 63,000 including 43,000 Tatkal tickets," the official said.
The IRCTC had recorded an average of 4.47 lakh e-tickets per day since the new timing for Tatkal tickets came into force on July 10 as against the 3.60 lakh average earlier.