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96206Ticketless travel: Rlys to unleash fortress checks

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  • Pearl - Karmayog
    Jun 25, 2014
      Source: DNA
      Date: 29.4.14
       

      Ticketless travel: Rlys to unleash fortress checks

       

      Mumbai: Travel without a railway ticket at your own risk. Fortress checks are being planned at select stations to curb the menace of ticketless travel.

      The railway’s top ticketing boss, member (traffic) DP Pande, has written to all general managers to crack the whip and have between two and four ‘fortress’ checks a month. These should be led by senior functionaries like divisional railway managers, he asserted.

      A fortress check is one in which a particular station is chosen and then over a stipulated period of anything between 24 and 36 hours, hundreds of ticket-checkers and security staff are deployed to check every passenger using the station. Ticket checkers have been ordered to ensure they get 1,250 cases of ticketless travel every day as against the average of 875 per day now, officials said.

      The Railway Board has told railway officials in Mumbai and elsewhere that the fall in the number of tickets sold — which is taken as drop in passenger count — has a lot to do with the fact that an increasing number of people are travelling without tickets than ever before.

      dna was the first to report on April 9 that the Western Railway (WR) suburban network has for the first time in over a decade shown a fall in the number of passengers for the financial year which ended on March 31. Statistics show that between April 2013 and March 2014, WR’s suburban system carried 128.11 crore passengers compared to 129.49 crore for the same period between 2012 and 2013, a drop of 1.38 crore passengers or about 38,000 passengers every day.

      The ticket-checking numbers, cases filed and fines collected are below the targets set by the board for the financial year which recently ended. On WR, against a target of Rs41.8 crore, the ticket-checkers managed to collect only Rs36.2 crore in fines. This, despite WR stretching itself every bit to overhaul the sum of Rs31.3 crore that was collected as fines in the financial year ending March 31, 2013.

      Between September 2013 and March 2014, WR conducted fortress checks for 14 days at Bandra, Dadar, Andheri Borivli and Virar stations among others. Using 2,537 ticket-checkers and 494 RPF personnel, 17,783 people were caught travelling without tickets (Rs67.3 lakh collected in fines). “This year the number of fortress checks would be higher than ever before,” a senior railway official told dna.