3 Indian Railways officials face enquiry over 'bribes' to issue licences to ticket centres
The Northern Railway officers, one of whom is a senior divisional commercial manager in New Delhi, face termination if found guilty of corruption, the sources added. Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani received a complaint on Thursday, alleging that the three officers had demanded bribes for issuing licences, when all of them were posted in Delhi, for the modernisation of and running YTSKs
The railways will conduct an enquiry against three senior officials for allegedly taking bribes of up to Rs 3 lakh from the operators of Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK), which were launched by the national transporter in 2014 to expand its ticketing system, sources said. The Northern Railway officers, one of whom is a senior divisional commercial manager in New Delhi, face termination if found guilty of corruption, the sources added. Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani received a complaint on Thursday, alleging that the three officers had demanded bribes for issuing licences, when all of them were posted in Delhi, for the modernisation of and running YTSKs.
Audio and video clips against the alleged offenders were also sent to Lohani, following which the Railway Board decided to conduct an enquiry, the sources said. The Railway Board chairman has called a meeting of all senior officials of the Northern Zone on Monday, when the course of action in this regard is likely to be decided. Approximately 188 YTSKs are currently functioning. The railway ministry has allowed public private partnership in establishing and operating these centres.
Under the scheme, all authorised ticketing agents, who have worked for at least five years in providing railway ticketing services to passengers are eligible to become YTSK licensees. Applications are called for the allotment of YTSKs by the zonal railways through advertisements in leading newspapers.
Sources said the three officials had cancelled or refused to renew the licences of those who did not pay a bribe.
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In one of the cases that has come to light, the three allegedly charged Rs 3 lakh for renewing licences and demanded Rs 50,000-Rs 60,000 a month from another centre from their ticket sales. The license of the said centre was allegedly cancelled as it did not pay the amount, the sources said. This kind of demands were made to 44 centres operating in the zone currently, of which 30 are in Delhi.
"At the moment, the Railway Board is dealing with the case. When we are asked to take action, we will comply. We are committed to ensuring that corruption is dealt with strictly and the harshest possible punishment is given to those found guilty," Northern Railway Spokesperson Nitin Chowdhury told PTI. All the three accused officers have been transferred, which, according to the sources, is 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 the enquiry, which will also reveal the magnitude of the scam and the amount of money involved, the sources said.