Railway allows purchase of 4 tickets against one NID

Up to four tickets can be bought online showing one NID card, the railways ministry has said.

Earlier, Bangladesh Railway had made national identity cards mandatory for passengers to check ticket scalping.

In a press release yesterday, the railways ministry said the authorities have relaxed the provision of showing NID cards “for the passengers’ benefit”.

“Up to four tickets can be bought for a family with a single NID card and can travel on trains,” it added.

The change in decision came following criticism over the move.

Rights activists said the mandatory use of NIDs to buy train tickets online would shrink access to the rail services for the marginalised and those not tech savvy.

Meanwhile, a BR circular said it would resume operations of 18 more pairs (up and down) of trains from August 27. Of the 18 pairs, 14 are intercity, three commuter and one mail. With the 18, a total of 48 pairs of trains would resume operations.

In a public circular issued on August 13, the ministry said ticket, return ticket and periodic ticket for train journey is not transferable and only the passenger, for whom the ticket would be issued, would be allowed to travel.

“If any person hands over or sell their ticket, return ticket or periodic ticket to another person, they could face up to three months in jail or be fined or both. Similarly, if anyone uses other’s ticket, they have to pay a fine, which would be the same amount of the actual fare,” read the circular.

“Bangladesh Railway is requesting its passengers to buy tickets online or through mobile app on their own and refrain from journey with tickets purchased by others,” it added.

Although the circular did not mention when the authorities are going to enforce the measures strictly or whether all trains would be brought under the measures, Bangladesh Railway Director General Md Shamsuzzaman said the new measures would be applicable for intercity trains only.

While visiting Kamalapur Railway Station on August 15, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said, “I want to make it clear that you will have to show four NIDs for buying four train tickets. You can’t buy four tickets by showing only your NID.”

The BR made national identity card mandatory for buying tickets for some intercity trains from March last year to stop ticket scalping. Currently, the railway authorities are selling all tickets online to maintain physical distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

It resumed operations of trains on a limited scale from May 31 after suspension of services for over two months to contain the spread of Covid-19.

The authorities would resume operations of all intercity trains within August 30, but continue to operate with 50 percent passengers of its capacity.


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