Don’t be surprised if you face problems using the coupon-validating machines (CVM) on Central Railway stations.
The maintenance contract of over 200 CVMs between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) and Karjat/Kasara on the main line terminated on July 28.
Failures are reported on a daily basis in around 5-8 CVM machines and during rains, it rises to nearly 12 CVMs as water seeps in leading to power fluctuation.
Failures include breakdown of the machine’s cartridge or printer. The ticket roll also needs to be replaced at regular intervals. A machine often gets overloaded, as at times 3000 leaflets get printed in a day. Parts of CVMs also get stolen at times.
The problem has surfaced due to a tussle between CR administration and the private contractor in charge of maintaining the CVMs for nearly 3 years. The machines were purchased at a cost of Rs17,000 each and maintained at Rs 9,800 each annually.
“We are exploring the possibility of developing CVMs on our own and for now, we’ll make alternative arrangement,” said a senior CR official. “All steps will be taken to ensure that commuters are not inconvenienced in case of temporary problems in CVM machines,” said chief PRO, V Malegaonkar.
The CR is planning to introduce over 100 new CVMs. The total number of CVMs is around 350, which also includes on the Harbour line stations till Panvel.