MPs to get unique ID to book multiple railway tickets: Prabhu

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New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) All sitting MPs and former MPs will soon be given a “unique identity” to help them book train tickets and end any misuse in multiple bookings, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday.

The issue of multiple bookings of railway tickets figured during question hour in the Lok Sabha when suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad raised it through a supplementary.

Azad, who was suspended by the BJP on December 23 last year, said if an MP books multiple railway tickets and subsequently cancels them, the cancellation charges should be levied on the MP himself.

A number of members wanted to speak on the matter.

In his reply Minister Prabhu said he would act on the basis of whatever the House decides.

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But he said there “were difficulties” in taking such a decision as suggested by Kirti Azad as many a time members may have compulsions to cancel their journey.

Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also said that “no one books tickets just for fun”.

Prabhu maintained that under a new mechanism being worked by Railways, all sitting MPs and former MPs will soon be given a “unique identity” to help them book train tickets and end any misuse in multiple bookings.

He admitted probably “there is a chance” of misuse of the existing facility.

When the new system is rolled out and “unique identity” is given, the member will instantly get an SMS in his or her registered mobile number.

This would make the system transparent, Prabhu said.

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The Minister said the Railways would look into the issue of wrongdoings, if any.

“Some instances of multiple bookings being made in the names of MPs do come to notice,” Prabhu said, however adding no case of impersonation has been reported.

There has been a LTC scam related to a few MPs vis-a-vis abuse of ticketing facilities.

Some MPs have been alleged to have worked in collusion with others, used forged e-tickets and fake boarding passes to defraud Parliament.

Members of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha get 34 free air tickets in a year for themselves, their family members and associates for domestic travel.

In April this year, Rajya Sabha chairperson Hamid Ansari had given a nod to CBI to prosecute one JD(U) MP for allegedly using fake travel documents.

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