Biometrics to thwart rampant ticket scalping at India’s Western Railway

Fighting increasing concerns of illegal scalpers — or ticket touts — Western Railway in India will introduce fingerprint scanners to its Passenger Reservation System to prevent touts from cornering tickets for long-distance trains.

According to the Times of India, the modalities are still being working out but the system will be introduced on a pilot basis in two zonal railway zones. In the new system, passengers will be subjected to a fingerprint scan when buying a ticket and these prints will be used to ensure passengers don’t book tickets more than twice in a day.

“The biometric system will be introduced at one of the major PRS centers in Mumbai before the end of this calendar year,” Western Railway general manager Mahesh Kumar said.

In addition, ticket agents will be checking the identity card of people booking tickets at the reservation centre. “This will have a deterrent effect and touts would shy away from standing in queue repeatedly to corner the tickets.”

The announcement of this new biometric system comes as Western Railways eyes a major expansion in service, adding a total of 55 new services by the end of January, DNA India reported.

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