By mid-November, commuters might get some relief from long queues at ticket counters on the Central line.
The Central railway (CR) administration has sanctioned a contract to replace or repair 175 Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and work on the project will start in a fortnight.
Currently, more than 20% of all ATVMs reportedly do not function on a regular basis because of faulty components. There are 250 ATVMs in total. Of these, 175 will complete their 5-year life in October.
As result, they either have to be replaced or refurbished – have their faulty components replaced by the new ones.
“It will not be possible to immediately replace all of these 175 ATVMs, therefore, we have sanctioned a contract to rehabilitate them. Once these machines are repaired, the problems regarding ATVMs will reduce drastically,” said Subodh Jain, general manager, CR.
“In addition to this, we will install 75 new machines within one-and-a-half months, so that ticketing operations will be smooth.”
CR is also planning to procure over 680 more ATVMs from the Railway board to facilitate better ticketing. “We have sent all the details of our consolidated requirements to the railway board and are now awaiting their response,” said a senior CR official, requesting anonymity as he is not allowed to speak to the media. Meanwhile, aggrieved commuters complained about the long ticket queues. “We waste precious time standing in long queues. I waited for over 30 minutes in the ticket queue Govandi station on Monday. I would have reached my destination — Wadala — in that much time,” said Suresh Rawat, 29, a computer operator.
“They should repair existing ATVMs before installing new ones,” added the resident of Govandi.