More Tatkal tickets will be available for passengers now as the railways has weeded out illegal software and arrested 60 agents who would use them to block such tickets, a top official said on Tuesday. Railway Protection Force (RPF) Director General Arun Kumar said the cleansing operation means Tatkal tickets would be available for passengers for hours now, compared to a minute or two earlier after the booking opens. (Also Read: All You Need To Know About Indian Railways Tatkal Train Ticket Booking)
Officials explained that illegal software such as 'ANMS', 'MAC' and 'Jaguar' would bypass the IRCTC's login captcha, booking captcha and bank OTP to generate tickets, while a genuine user has to go through all these processes.
The booking process for a general user usually takes around 2.55 minutes, but those using these software could do it in just around 1.48 minutes, they explained.
The railways does not allow agents to book Tatkal tickets and over the past two months, the RPF has nabbed around 60 illegal agents who were booking tickets through these software, making it virtually impossible for others to get Tatkal bookings.
"As of today, I can say that not one ticket is being booked through illegal software. We have plugged all the issues that we had with the IRCTC website and also nabbed most of those who were top operators of the software," the RPF DG said at a press briefing.
With the arrests, Mr Kumar said most of these illegal software, which used to generate business of Rs 50 crore-100 crore annually, have been blocked.
The IRCTC's ticket booking section reflects the impact of the railway action as it shows a jump in the availability of Tatkal tickets across the board.
For example, while on October 26, 2019, Tatkal tickets were available for two minutes for the Magadh Express, on February 10, they were available for over 10 hours since the bookings opened on February 9, 2020 on the train.
Similarly, on the Sampoorna Kranti Express, Tatkal tickets were available for a little over four minutes on November 16, 2019, while on February 8, 2020, there were available for 18 minutes.
On the Swatantrata Senani Express, on November 16, 2019, the Tatkal bookings lasted for just a little over two minutes, while on February 8, it lasted for more than an hour.
"This position has been taken from different zones and we have seen that the Tatkal tickets are available for longer. We are still monitoring other software which can be used to book tickets and will move on them as and when they try to book tickets illegally," said Mr Kumar.