LAHORE – Whether it should be termed the reluctance of Pakistan Railways management or their vulnerability to political pressure, stern action is not being taken against the staff involved in illegal sales of tickets.
The trend of setting the wrongdoers free or giving them minor punishments not only discourages those honest officers who unveil corruption in the public utility, but also contributes to the losses incurred by the already cash-stripped department.
According to an estimate, the sales of tickets in black and ticketless travelling are causing five to 10 per cent loss in revenue collection from every passenger train. Some officers say this can happen only with the help of Railways staff and police.
Sources said that during the department’s ongoing campaign against the black marketing of tickets, some officers had caught red-handed the Railways staff involved in the crime at different stations, but no action was taken against this mafia. Instead, they were either set free without any action against them or restored on their posts after minor punishments.
For example, revealed a source, all the staff at the Rawalpindi Reservation Office was caught in illegal sales of tickets. From January to April 2011, they had sold tickets worth thousands of rupees by tempering with computer record.
“All the accused have now been reinstated on their original posts after withholding of increment temporarily for one year.”
The source further shared that two Railways employees involved in the black marketing of tickets were caught in Sargodha. “A Railways officer stayed all the day at the Sargodha Railways Station and unveiled the culprits, but no action was taken against them,” the source added.
Railways officers caught an employee of the department involved in selling tickets without any record at Jhelum. He was using a fake police warrant book for the sale of tickets, but still he has not been dismissed from service. “Similarly, two people were found involved in the black marketing of tickets in Karachi, but no action has been taken against them either,” the source disclosed.
In Lahore, however, the divisional superintendent of the Pakistan Railways had dismissed four employees from service after their crime was proved, the source said. “However, it has been learned that they have submitted their appeals to the general manager and may be restored on their posts,” he feared.