Passengers will need national identity (NID) card or birth registration certificate when purchasing tickets for seven inter-city trains from March 20, officials of Bangladesh Railway (BR) said.
BR took the decision following a successful pilot project it has implemented for Sonar Bangla Express -- a direct inter-city train service on Dhaka-Chattogram route -- from January 1, to curb ticket scalping, they said.
The system will be applied to all inter-city trains gradually, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said yesterday.
The seven trains are: Chattogram-bound Subarna Express, Mohanagar Ghodhuli/Provati Express and Turna Express; Sylhet-bound Parabat Express; Khulna-bound Chittra Express; Dinajpur-bound Drutojan Express; and Rajshahi-bound Padma Express.
Mahbubur Rahman, director (traffic and public relation) of BR, said passengers faced some minor issues when they made NID mandatory for Sonar Bangla Express, but everything is fine now.
“We have decided to implement the system in seven other intercity trains mainly to stop black marketing of tickets. Security issue is another reason,” Mahbubur said.
He said they will carry out publicity to make people aware about the new initiative and have already published advertisements in national dailies.
Apart from station counters, a passenger will be able to get registered through the BR website, e-ticketing website and railway mobile apps, another official said.
Sitangshu Chakraborty, station manager of Kamalapur Railway Station, said when registering with NID or birth registration certificate, a passenger has to provide his/her mobile number too.
Once registered, during their next purchases they will not need ID; rather they would just have to provide their mobile phone numbers, Sitangshu said.
He said one person will be able to buy up to four tickets with NID or birth certificate.
WARNING AGAINST MISMANAGEMENT
Meanwhile, railways minister yesterday expressed discontent over the management of Kamalapur Railway Station.
Transferring officials is not an effective solution, he said. “I have given them a deadline. I will visit the station on April 5 again, and I will take action if you fail to improve in certain areas,” Nurul Islam said.
He was talking to journalists after visiting Kamalapur, country's largest railway station that sees around 1 lakh passengers daily.
“I'm dissatisfied with the overall system. My satisfaction relies on passengers' satisfaction,” he said, referring to unsanitary toilets, ticketing system, harassment of passengers and security issues.
BR has procured equipment but could not ensure its proper use, he said, adding, “We have to ensure full use of the equipment so that passengers are benefited.”
About bullet train service between Dhaka and Chattogram, he said a Chinese company has already submitted a report on possible alignment, detailed designs, and they have submitted it to the prime minister.
He hoped that work of the double-track rail line between Dhaka and Chattogram will be completed by next year.
BR Director General Qazi Md Rafiqul Alam accompanied the minister.