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Western Railway wants to raise fine for ticketless train travel to ₹1,000

WR puts forth proposal to Railway Board; Rs 1,000 would be the minimum penalty, while the maximum would be decided as per a formula used to calculate fines.

mumbai Updated: Jun 29, 2018 10:44 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai trains,Mumbai commuters
The proposal also suggests authorising ticket checkers to fine trespassers who cross tracks, and giving them hand-held devices to process fines.(HT File Photo)

Railway commuters may have to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 fine for travelling without a ticket if Western Railway’s (WR) proposal to the Railway Board is accepted.

The topic of increased fine amounts was discussed at length when Ashwani Lohani, chairman of the Railway Board, met officials from Central and Western Railway, during his visit to Mumbai last week. “He assured [us] that he would take it into consideration and look at how it can be implemented,” said a senior WR official who did not want to be named. Lohani also asked the officials to submit a formal proposal to revise the fine structure, to the Railway Board.

The Railway Board governs the railway network in India.

As per the proposal submitted by WR on Monday, the minimum penalty for ticketless travel would be Rs 1,000 while the maximum penalty would be decided as per the formula currently used to calculate fines (based on the distance a passenger has travelled without a ticket and the fare of the entire journey of the train in which they’re caught).

The proposal also suggests authorising ticket checkers (TCs) to fine trespassers who cross tracks, and giving TCs hand-held devices to process fines.

At present, the minimum fine for ticketless passengers is Rs 250 and the maximum ranges between Rs 350 and Rs 500 if one is found travelling without a ticket in a first class compartment. Approximately 2,500 people are detained daily in Mumbai, for travelling without tickets. On a monthly basis, Mumbai Suburban Railway collects Rs 15 crore from these fines.

WR’s officials say the steep increase in fine would both act as a deterrent and earn the railways more revenue. “The increase of fine is right as the Railways have not increased the fare and is very reasonable. Commuters should not travel without ticket and with the fine increase people will buy tickets,” said Lata Argade, vice president, Railway Pravasi Mahasangh.

Passenger associations, however, have mixed reactions to the proposal. “There are very few passengers who travel without ticket and increasing the fine to Rs 1,000 from Rs 250 will only increase corruption. People will bribe the ticket checkers and get away with it easily,” said Subhash Gupta, president, Rail Yatri Parishad.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 10:43 IST