Railways plan to outsource ticket selling to private parties irks unions

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Unions protest against Railways' plan to outsource ticket selling to private parties
New Delhi, Oct 9: One of the biggest employers in the country, Indian Railways has invited private players to sell tickets of both reserved and unreserved category, said a TOI report.

The move has drawn ire of railway employee unions who are already sharing a strained relationship with top management. Calling the new move as "back-door" privatization of railway operations, the unions have already began protests.

Recently, the railways decided to outsource cleaning of 50 major stations and decided to deploy 'Gate Mitras' (counselors) hired by private agencies at unmanned level crossings.

Currently, all the train ticket reservation counters across the country are operated by railway employees and only authorized travel agents are allowed to sell e-tickets.

If approved, the Railway Board's directive would allow private firms to operate computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS)-cum-Unreserved Ticketing System terminals. Railways says that the move would help passengers.

The new reservation centres would be called Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendras (YTSK), said the TOI report. 

The unions argue that outsourcing of such crucial activities to private parties would result in corruption, discrepancies, frauds and public complaints.

However, the management doesn't seem to pay heed to the unions.

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