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Dedicated counters for Tatkal

Faced with mounting complaints of misuse of tatkal scheme, railways are planning to have dedicated counters and separate time slots for selling tatkal tickets.

Plans are afoot to install CCTV cameras at the ticket counters to keep a close watch on tatkal ticket seekers and making e-reservation more fool-proof.

"Besides, we have decided to bar booking clerks from carrying mobile to reservation counters," said Northern Railway general manager V K Gupta, while other officers said the "character of the tatkal scheme will be changed".

Gupta said separate counters and time slots for tatkal reservation would also be put in place very soon to prevent touts from misusing the scheme.

His comments come a day after the Railway Board reviewed the tatkal scheme, which was introduced to help passengers travelling on emergency. However, there have been increased complaints that passengers have been unable to exploit the scheme properly, thanks to the role of touts.

Despite a number of changes carried out in the scheme in the recent past including reducing the days for reserving tatkal tickets from five to only one day and barring web-based agents from booking tickets during the first hours, touts continued to exploit the scheme, selling tatkal tickets at a premium.

At present, tatkal scheme is available in around 2677 trains which translates to around 1.71 lakh berths. In 2011-12, earning from the scheme stood at Rs 847 crore.