Railway Board to remove malpractices in booking

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Dear Editor,
It refers to CIC-verdict dated 06.07.2016 in appeal-number CIC/VS/A/2014/001250/BJ wherein Central Information Commissioner recommended Railway Board to take steps to remove any malpractices in existing in process of ticket-booking and cancellation by the Parliamentarians desiring the public authority to revisit the present practice being followed and strengthen its systems to ensure that the larger public interest gets protected, also advising Railway Board Chairman to consider institutionalizing a mechanism in this respect so that the public is not put to any inconvenience.
Presently booking is always shown full especially in first-class air-conditioned coaches because Parliamentarians usually make priority multiple reservations without caring to cancel these in case of non-travel. Officials of Railways, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats also admitted that payment for reserved rail-accommodations of Parliamentarians was made from public-exchequer even in cases of Parliamentarians not actually travelling.
During the CIC-hearing, railway-officials made a shocking revelation of some mischievous elements make multiple bookings in the name of Parliamentarians at times even without knowledge of concerned Parliamentarians, reminding of infamous LTC scam involving the facility provided to Parliamentarians. Railway Board must incorporate proper system ensuring that Parliamentarians only may be able to make online railway reservations so as to avoid mischievous elements making multiple/fraud bookings in the name
of Parliamentarians.
Railway Board should adopt a system whereby a travelling Parliamentarian may be required to submit his/her identity proof apart from filling a form confirming his/her actual travel at the reserved accommodation. These forms may be submitted to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
secretariats while claiming reimbursement.
A copy of such a travel-certificate may also be provided to travelling Parliamentarians for their submitting directly to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariats in case of need when railway-authorities may somehow not be able to send these to Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha secretariats. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha secretariats may be required to deduct cost of amounts paid to railway authorities from pay/pensions of concern parliamentarian(s)/ex-parliamentarian(s) for their not travelling on reserved accommodations. Such a system can only make Parliamentarians feel responsibility for cancelling rail-reservations in case of change in travel-plan.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
1775 Kucha Lattushah
Dariba, Chandni Chowk
Delhi 110006 (India)

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