WR cracks down on ticketless travellers, collects ₹4.60L fine in eight hours | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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WR cracks down on ticketless travellers, collects 4.60L fine in eight hours

Oct 02, 2023 07:20 AM IST

The TCs formed a human chain on the FOBs and asked for tickets from everyone passing by. We saw people putting it out on social media asking others to buy tickets at Dadar. We want to ensure that people travel with legal authorised tickets and so we shall continue such drives, said a WR official

Mumbai: In just eight hours, more than 1,600 persons were fined on Saturday for travelling on local trains without a valid ticket. The Western Railway (WR) deployed 195 ticket-checking staff at Dadar West station as part of its crackdown on ticketless travellers on the Western Line and collected fines of over 4.60 lakh.

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Dadar station is one of the busiest in the city which sees a footfall of between 3 and 5 lakh passengers every day.

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The WR officials term this as one of the biggest ‘fortress checks’ on the Indian Railways that started at 8am till 4pm on September 30.

On October 1, similar ticket-checking drives were conducted at Borivali, Bandra and Dadar stations. The WR officials said they have decided to deploy their ticket collectors (TCs) on stations and trains to take action against violators after receiving several complaints regarding ticketless travellers using AC locals and first-class compartments of the local trains.

“We ensured that the TCs formed a human chain on the FOBs and asked for tickets from everyone passing by. We saw people putting it out on social media asking others to buy tickets at Dadar. We want to ensure that people travel with legal authorised tickets and so we shall continue such drives,” said a WR official.

Sources said that the pattern of these checks will vary throughout the week. On October 1, there were 200 odd TCs of which 90-100 of them were posted at Borivali station itself. The remaining ones were distributed in Bandra, Dadar and smaller stations as they started at 7am till 3pm. “We got a good response from the commuters. When we ask the ticket-less travellers about not buying tickets; the common response is that after Covid it has become a habit for them to travel like this. Those caught tell us that they are ready to pay as rarely are they asked for tickets and that it has become a habit,” said ticket-checking staff on ground.

The WR authorities are building their strength and new TC staff have joined them who are also part of the ongoing drive. Sources said that another major difficulty that the staff is facing is the mode of payment. After Covid-19, the impetus has been largely on digital payment and commuters usually do not carry large amounts of cash with them and so the on-ground staff are facing difficulties in getting them to pay fines through cash.

“The railways should ensure that people can pay through digital forms of payment. At least some QR code-based devices should be provided. Moreover, the railways should shut the multiple entry and exit points at railway stations, which becomes an easy way out for ticketless travellers. The railways should bring some control on without ticket cases,” said Kailash Verma, president, of Mumbai Rail Users Cell. The WR authorities intend to continue at other stations like Borivali, Andheri, Virar, Bhayandar, Vasai, Bandra and even inside first class and AC local trains in the coming week.

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