Eastern Railway fined ticketless travellers over Rs 7.57 crore in May

Kolkata, June 10 Eastern Railway (ER), which runs an extensive suburban network, has urged commuters to desist from travelling without valid tickets after raids led to the recovery of over Rs 7.57 crore in fines in May alone.

This amounts to nearly Rs 25 lakh per day. As many as 1,80,900 people were apprehended for travelling without valid tickets during this period. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, officials said, as many more might have managed to give the ticket-checking staff a slip.

According to the figures released by the ER for its four divisions, the fine collection for May was Rs 7,57,30,000. The lion's share came from the Howrah Division at Rs 2,43,90,000. Next was the Sealdah Division at Rs 1,77,00,000.

"Rail travel continues to remain the cheapest and most convenient mode of travel. We have been trying to highlight to the commuters how they would have to pay at least 6-7 times more if they travel by road. Take the 20 km journey between Howrah and Srirampur for instance.

"The suburban train fare is a mere Rs 5 and the travel time is barely 30 minutes. A bus journey would cost about Rs 40 and take more than an hour in this tremendous heat, that too if the roads are relatively clear of traffic jams," said Kausik Mitra, CPRO, Eastern Railway.

He also highlighted how people no longer have to queue up at the booking counters for tickets.

"Those with smartphones can simply download the UTS App and book unreserved tickets online. They can also scan QR codes displayed at all the stations to book tickets. Hence, the excuse that a person was in a hurry no longer counts," Mitra said.

Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) have also been installed at all important suburban stations. At many locations, retired railway staff have been employed on a contractual basis to operate these machines for the assistance of those not familiar with their functioning, he added.

Source: IANS
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