Mumbai: In a startling revelation, Western Railway authorities have reported an alarming average of 180 cases of unauthorized travel detected daily in their air-conditioned local trains.
From April to November 2023, a total of 44,229 instances of unauthorized travel were detected in the air-conditioned suburban train services of Western Railway's Mumbai Central division. This marks a substantial increase of 65.96 percent compared to the same period last year, when 26,650 cases were reported.
Notably, the financial implications have also witnessed a sharp surge. Penalties amounting to ₹1.46 crore have been collected from offenders during the aforementioned period this year, indicating a significant spike of 67.76 percent from the ₹87,28,568 collected during the same months in the previous year.
Between April to November this year, a concerning spike in unauthorized travel has been reported across the entire suburban section of Western Railway's Mumbai division. "A total of 571,069 cases of unauthorised travel have been detected, reflecting a 7.22 percent increase compared to the same period of last year when 532,622 cases of unauthorised travel were recorded in the suburban section of Western Railway's Mumbai Central division including air conditioned and non air conditioned both suburban services,'' said an official.
Highest ever monthly ticket checking revenue
According to a senior officer of Western Railway, during the month of November 2023, highest ever monthly Ticket Checking revenue of ₹21.20 crore in financial year 2023-24, was recovered through detection of 2.94 Lakh cases of ticketless/irregular passengers, including unbooked luggage across the Western Railway in all divisions. Out of this, Mumbai division alone accounted for 10.18 crores, which is a jump of a phenomenal 74% compared to the same month last year.
"In the month of November, Mumbai Central division of western railway alone realized fines amounting to ₹5.68 crore through the detection of over 94 thousand cases of unauthorised travel over Mumbai Suburban section," said an official.
As Western Railway intensifies its crackdown on unauthorized travel, the message is clear: adherence to regulations is crucial for the well-being of passengers and the smooth functioning of the railway network.
"The substantial increase in fines collected indicates a proactive approach by the concerned authorities to deter offenders and maintain the integrity of the railway system. Commuters are urged to adhere to travel guidelines to ensure a safe and efficient journey for all passengers," said an official of WR.