Over 1,200 outlets, which will be opened at general shops, medical stores or malls will sell suburban tickets to commuters travelling on Central and Western Railways. This could drastically reduce the long queues found at ticket counters.
On an average, seven lakh people buy tickets everyday from ticket counters.
The Central Railway (CR) will open 1,062 outlets near 100 railway stations, while the Western Railway (WR) will open 212 outlets near 28 stations. These outlets will be opened under the Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks scheme, which allows any individual, shopkeeper or even a pan wallah to sell railway tickets.
These shops, however, will need to have a computer, printer, a MTNL/BSNL Internet connection and documents to prove that the shop is either owned or rented by the owner.
Once selected, the shops would be supplied with numbered ticket rolls and other paraphernalia necessary to print the tickets.
The WR authorities plan to start this facility from August-end or early September, while the CR is expecting make these outlets functional from November. “The outlets will become functional as and when they have fulfilled the criteria,” said V Malegaonkar, chief PRO, CR.
Although one could save time by buying tickets from these outlets, each commuter will have to pay a surcharge of Re1 for which they would receive a footnote.
“We are receiving a good response from people interested in starting these outlets,” said S Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.