The Railway is likely to scrap the Tatkal scheme after an IBN7 expose showed how touts had taken full control over the issuing of emergency tickets. In fact, the Indian Railway is also looking at making it mandatory for ticket seekers to show identification and give reasons for urgent travel.
A sting operation by IBN7 had shown how middlemen, some of them being Delhi Police personnel, were blatantly cornering and reselling tickets meant for passengers. Now the Railway Ministry has finally swung into action. Admitting serious lapses, it has promised stringent action and a series of solutions are being examined.
One key suggestion is that the Tatkal system itself be scrapped and an emergency quota be implemented. A passenger seeking reservation under this quota will have to furnish valid reason for the travel.
Another proposal is that identification proof should be made mandatory for any person making the Tatkal reservation. Earlier the ID proof had to be furnished only by the person travelling with the ticket.
Proposals like scrapping the Tatkal ticket sales at counters and allowing only e-reservations and changing the timings for the Tatkal ticket booking to avoid overlap with booking times for normal tickets are also under consideration.
Sources in the Railway Ministry say a decision on the measures to be adopted will be taken soon. Earlier measures to streamline the Tatkal system like allowing only two tickets per person, disallowing change of passenger names after booking and stricter cancellation rules don't seem to have worked in eliminating touts.