NID being made mandatory for train travel to stop illegal ticket sale

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No one will be able to travel with tickets bought by using someone else’s NID once Bangladesh Railway launches the new system.

The government recently passed a proposal on the new system as part of efforts to stop sale of tickets in the black market, Additional Railways Secretary Md Mahbub Kabir told TOURISM INTERNATIONAL on Tuesday.

A train departing Kamalapur Railway Station on Saturday with thousands of people on the rooftops of its carriages. Photo: Mostafigur RahmanA passenger will be able to buy up to four tickets for his co-passengers and the ticket checkers will confirm his or her identity with the NID number on the ticket, so the passengers will not need to carry their NIDs.

The ticket checkers will use smartphones or tabs to verify the travellers’ identities via the Election Commission’s NID server.

The authorities are distributing NIDs among those aged 16 and 17 as well, so they will not face a problem to book a ticket, Mahbub said. The government is considering a way to allow those below 16 years old to buy tickets by using their parents’ NIDs, he added.

Md Shamsuzzaman, the director general of Bangladesh Railway, said they took measures to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the EC for the verification of NID.

Mahbub said the government was also planning to sell tickets online only.

Bangladesh Railway sells some tickets online now but the e-ticketing system has drawn many sorts of complaints, including a sale in the black market after purchase through the system.

Qamrul Islam, the vice-president of Computer Network System Limited that oversees the e-ticketing system, said it would be possible to stop illegal sale if they can verify the passengers’ identities by using the NID data.