Published On: Fri, May 4th, 2018

3 railway officials face enquiry over bribes for giving licences to ticket centres

New Delhi: The railways will conduct enquiry against three senior Northern Railway officials for allegedly taking bribes of up to Rs 3 lakhs from operators of Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK), which were started by the railways in 2014 to expand its ticketing system, sources said.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani received a complaint yesterday alleging that the three officers demanded bribes for giving licences, when all of them were posted in Delhi, for modernization of and running such centres across the zone.

The officers, one of whom is a senior divisional commercial manager at New Delhi, face termination if found guilty for corruption, they said.

Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani received a complaint yesterday alleging that the three officers demanded bribes for giving licences, when all of them were posted in Delhi, for modernization of and running such centres across the zone.

Lohani was provided with both audio and video clips against the alleged offenders after which the Railway Board decided to conduct an enquiry, sources said.

Lohani has called a meeting of all senior officials of the Northern Zone on Monday when the course of action will be decided in the matter.

As on date, approximately 188 YTSK are functioning in the Indian Railways. The ministry has allowed public private partnership in establishing and operating these centres.

Under this scheme, all authorised ticketing agents, who have worked for at least five years in providing railway ticketing (reserved/unreserved) services for passengers of railways are eligible to become YTSK licensees.

Applications are called for allotment of YTSKs by zonal railways through advertisements in leading newspapers.

Sources said the three officials even cancelled or refused to renew the licences of those who refused to pay the bribes.

In fact, in one of the cases, which has come to light, the three allegedly charged Rs 3 lakh for renewing licences and even charged another centre a monthly amount of Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 from their ticket sales. This centre’s licence was cancelled when the licensee was unable to pay the amount, sources said.

This kind of demand, sources said, were made to 44 such centres operational in the zone currently, out of which 30 are in Delhi itself.

“At the moment the case is being dealt with by the Railway Board. The moment we are asked to take any action, we will comply. We are committed to ensure that corruption is dealt with strictly and the harshest possible punishment will be given to them if an enquiry finds them guilty,” Northern Railway spokesperson Nitin Chowdhury told PTI.

All three accused officers have been transferred, which, according to sources, is not linked to the alleged scam but was part of routine shuffling.

While one of them has been sent on central deputation, another has been transferred internally to North Central Railway and the third one has been transferred to Varanasi.

Any action against the trio will be taken only after an enquiry into the matter, which will also reveal the magnitude of the scam and the amount of money involved, the sources said.

PTI

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