RS MPs to pay up train fares for journeys booked but not undertaken

RSTV Bureau
File photo: RAJYA SABHA

File photo: RAJYA SABHA

A bulletin to this effect was issued by Rajya Sabha Secretary General Desh Deepak Varma.  It comes in the wake of the Rajya Sabha Secretariat having to pay huge amounts for multiple journeys that were booked but not undertaken by both sitting and former members.

At the behest of Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu… the Rajya Sabha Secretariat did an analysis of the bookings and the actual journeys that were undertaken by Rajya Sabha members.

It was found that a former member of the Upper House made as many as 63 bookings … on 23 days in January 2019. While the 63 bookings cost as much Rs. 1,69,005 …. the former member travelled only on 7 occasions … the total train fare coming to of only Rs. 22,085/-.

The Rajya Sabha Secretariat in effect had to pay an extra Rs. 1,46,920/-  or 87% of the ticket fare to the Railways.

In another case … a sitting member performed journeys amounting to just 15% of the money paid on booked tickets. The Secretariat had to pay 85% extra for journeys that were not performed for tickets that were not cannelled.

For 2019, the Railways sought a payment of Rs. 7.8 crore from the Rajya Sabha Secretariat.

This is 1/3rd share the total cost of train travel by sitting and former members of Parliament, their spouses and companions.

The rest 2/3rd cost has to be paid by the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

For some years now, Rajya Sabha members are being advised to avoid multiple train bookings and cancel unused bookings.

The Railways is also changing software to identify train bookings by the House to which individual members of Parliament belong. The new software is likely to be operationalised soon.