At least 4,485 commuters on the Central Railway have been caught travelling ticket-less in less than two weeks.
The CR, during its special 'fortress drive,' has recovered more than Rs10.6 lakh in fines from these defaulters between February 7 and February 20.
During such drives, ticket collectors (TCs) are deployed in stations in groups, and attempt to check every traveller. "We don't have the required staff to check tickets at every entry and exit points. Hence, these fortress drives are conducted so commuters get the message that they run the risk of being caught. The ticketing revenue improves for a few days after the drive, showing it has been effective," said a senior CR official, requesting anonymity.
"The objective of such drives is not just to penalise ticket-less travelers, but also encourage them to buy tickets. Our TCs educate them and direct them to ATVM card sellers," said V Malegaonkar, chief Public Relations Officer (PRO), CR.
The drive has been conducted in CR stations such as Wadala, Mulund, Kurla, Ghatkopar and Vashi.
The Western Railway launched a similar drive this week to curb trespassing. The drive will be conducted in two stages. "In the first stage, trespassers are to use foot over-bridges. If within a few days, trespassing is not controlled, then we will start fining people under section 147 of the Railways Act," said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR. A trespasser can be fined up to Rs1,000 or face imprisonment of up to six months, or both.