Mumbai: Western Railway (WR) has achieved remarkable results through a series of robust ticket-checking drives conducted across its suburban and long-distance train services.
Data reveals that in May 2023 alone, an astounding 2.72 lakh ticketless or irregular passengers, including those with unbooked luggage, were apprehended and faced fines. These fines amounted to an impressive ₹19.99 crore, significantly bolstering the revenue of Western Railway. Notably, within this figure, the detection of 79,500 instances of traveling without proper tickets in the suburban section resulted in a recovery of ₹5.04 crore.
Ensuring "fair system"
The aim of these initiatives was to combat ticketless and irregular travel, ensuring a fair system for all passengers. "Diligent efforts of the ticket checking team, led by senior commercial officers, have not only detected a substantial number of cases but also recovered a staggering amount of revenue," said a WR officer.
"The intensified ticket checking drives, also conducted between April and May 2023, led to a remarkable recovery of ₹36.75 crore in fines. Among these fines, an impressive amount of ₹9.75 crore was collected from the Mumbai Suburban section alone," the officer said, adding that across the entire Western Railway network, including the suburban section, a staggering 3.12 lakh cases of ticketless travel were identified during April and May 2023, with 1.06 lakh cases detected in the suburban section alone.
"The recovered revenue stands as a testament to Western Railway's commitment to curbing the menace of ticketless and irregular passengers," said an official.
Surprise ticket-checking drives
Additionally, Western Railway launched frequent surprise ticket-checking drives to tackle unauthorized entry into AC local trains. As a result, over 12,800 unauthorized passengers were penalized between April and May 2023, with fines totalling ₹42.80 lakhs. This represents a remarkable increase of 203.12% compared to the same period last year, indicating the success of Western Railway's intensified efforts.
Sumit Thakur, the Chief Public Relations Officer of Western Railway, emphasised the importance of travelling with proper and valid tickets. He stated that the consistent ticket-checking drives and the imposition of hefty fines on ticketless and irregular passengers aim to create a more comfortable and secure environment for all genuine travellers.