Mumbai : The Central Railway’s (CR) toilets are not hi-tech but using them is surely going to be involved some technology. Urinal charges can now have to be paid using the smart card or coupons.
To facilitate swift payment mechanism and avoid over charging at various places the railways are looking at developing payment without transaction of cash. The Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) are being looked into for the payment where is a card reading machine will be put outside the urinals and the commuter will have to swipe in before entering.
The attendant at the urinals will ensure that smart-cards used to issue tickets at ATVM machines is swiped by the commuter and a software for the same is being developed by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS).
General Manager of CR, Sunil Kumar Sood, said, “The problem is with no change. The commuter may give on Rs 10 and will have to get Rs 9 back. With the ATVM card the machine will deduct the necessary amount and there will be no transaction involved. While on the other hand, the commuter without an ATVM card can use the urinals with paying Re 1.”
Another options looked into is a booklet of Re.1 coupons that the commuter will be able to purchase from the ticket window. The commuters will have to give this Re. 1coupon to the attendant while using the urinals.
A senior official from CR said, “The attendant will submit these coupons to the counters during the night and get the required money.” However, CR GM Sood said, “The problem with coupons is that the printing would cost us somewhere between 10 to 30 paise. It will now make any difference if we spend 30 paise from Re 1 on printing these coupons. There is also a problem of fake coupons but we are looking at all these options.”
Subash Gupta of Yatri Pravasi Sangh said, “The ATVM coupons can be used for the payment at urinals as commuters already have it with them. But, purchase of separate coupons for urinals will not work out as commuter will have to go out of way and buy them. The railways should also improve the facility when they are charging commuters for it.”
Nandita Shah, co-founder of Akshara Foundation, said, “We will end up with people peeing out in the public. There is a need of having adequate toilets and ensuring they are in good condition.”