WR stamps monthly pass to stop daily commuters from occupying reserved coaches on express trains
If commuters want to travel in general coaches of express trains, they have to pay superfast charges separatelyUpdated: Apr 18, 2018 11:20 IST
To prevent season ticket holders from occupying reserved seats in long-distance trains, the Western Railway (WR) has from this week started issuing such tickets stamped ‘not permitted to travel in reserved sleeper coaches’.
The move aims to stop perennial altercation and brawl between long-distance travellers and commuters with season tickets for local trains.
If commuters want to travel in general coaches of express trains, they have to pay superfast charges separately.
“Travelling in reserved coaches by pass holders is illegal, and it is not a new issue. Now, we have started to stamp such warnings on monthly season tickets, so people do not travel in reserved coaches,” said Ravinder Bhakar, chief public relations officer (CPRO) of WR.
However, commuters can travel in the specially-reserved monthly season ticket (MST) compartments of select express trains such as Lok Shakti Express, Flying Ranee and Valsad Passengers, he said.
Even first-class season ticket holders can’t travel in reserved coaches.
“We have directed ticket checking staff to take action against pass holders caught travelling in reserved coaches,” said Bhakar. If caught travelling illegally in reserved coaches, local train pass holders will be fined a minimum of Rs250.
However, various passenger associations such as Dahanu Vaitarna Pravasi Sangh (DVPS) and Dahanu Vaitarna Pravasi Sevabhavi Sanstha (DVPSS) have opposed the WR’s move.
“We are aware of the rule, but the WR should also think of increasing the frequency of the Churchgate-Dahanu service. Furthermore, all express trains have two or four general coaches which are always full,” said a representative of DVPSS.
The WR should add more coaches to the local trains to reduce overcrowding, he said.
The two groups are likely to request divisional regional manager (DRM) of Mumbai to increase the frequency of local trains between Dahanu and Churchgate and to add more coaches in select express trains.