Ticket touts prowl around Sylhet rly station

Published : 24 Dec 2021 09:45 PM | Updated : 14 Feb 2022 06:18 PM

There is allegation of black-marketing of train tickets for various routes from Sylhet railway station.  Sufferers complained, often train tickets are not available online or at the station ticket counters but those are available to the black-marketers who are allegedly selling those at a higher price than that of the regular price. It is further alleged that the train ticket counters at Sylhet station have been under the grip of some dishonest railway officials and employees. The train passengers are learnt to be bound to purchase those train tickets at the double or more than the double of the regular prices. Failing to procure the train tickets from the station counters, passengers are learnt to purchase the tickets from the black-marketers nearby. There are allegations that even some railway staff are involved with the selling of such tickets in the black markets. According to sources, for a long time, Sylhet railway station and its railway tracks of the district are infested with illegal level crossings, hawkers, syndicates of Malam party members, beggars and brokers (Dalals).

There is booming illegal online and standing ticket businesses centering Sylhet railway station. Along with the dishonest railway officials and brokers, local traders, tea-stall owners and even grocers are also the members of the illegal syndicate.

It is learnt, the tickets of Intercity trains for various destinations from Sylhet are available online from five-day before the starting of the journey. The dishonest syndicate members in liaison with the railway Station Master and the concerned authorities are continuing their illegal business. It is alleged, within an hour of opening the computer for online sales of the tickets five-day ago, all advance tickets are booked and sold out. Later on, those tickets are sold by the dishonest ticket syndicates at the double or more than the double price of the regular price. As a result, the passengers at the ticket counters failed to procure any advance ticket even after visiting the counters four to five-day ago. 

The same way, the passengers at Sylhet, Maijgaon, Kulaura, Sham­shernagar. Bhanugach, Sree Mongol and Saisthaganj railway stations are being deprived of procuring tickets for their destinations from the ticket counters of the concerned stations.

According to sources, at day time, Intercity trains Paharika, Kalni, Joyontika, Parabat Express and at night intercity trains Udayan and Upazbon Epress are departed from Sylhet daily. 

Thousands of passengers travelled through these trains to various destinations daily. Due to a huge demand of tickets by the passengers, the train tickets black-marketing syndicate are active in Sylhet and getting support from the dishonest railway officials and employees, those syndicate members were continuing their illegal business unabated. 

After visiting Sylhet Railway station ticket counter, this correspondent wanted a ticket for Dhaka or Chittagong three to four-day before the journey. 

Along with this correspondent, all other passengers were informed from the counter that there was no ticket with a seat. Soon after departing from the counter area, a group of black ticket sellers proposed to them to sell tickets of the desired day and place as against the double price of the regular price.

Nazmul Huda Tarek of Lalabazar under Daskhin Surma upazila alleged that he went to station ticket counter to procure ticket for a destination five days ago of beginning of the journey but the concerned ticket issuing official at the counter informed him that there was no ticket with seat because all tickets have been sold earlier. 

A reliable source from Sylhet Railway station informed there are shortages of tickets with seats in compared to the number of passengers. He also denied that there was any black marketing of train tickets from the counter. 

It is learnt, on the allegation of irregularities and black marketing of train tickets, the then Station Manager of Sylhet and  eight employees including six Booking Assistants were transferred on November-2019. 

Moreover, on December-11 and August-11 this year, Sylhet railway police arrested brokers Kabir Ahmed and Nurul Islam respectively during selling of train-tickets in the black markets at Sylhet railway station.