The use of duplicate on-board e-ticket machine by the conductor of a PMPML bus has brought to light the fraud in sale of tickets. A conductor on the Bhosari route No 331 was found using an outdated machine on Sunday.
While the PMPML has filed police case against for tampering with the e-ticketing device, commuters claim it has been happening since long, and that the contractor who has provided the machines and bus conductors are very much hand-in-glove.According to police, the conductor of Nehrunagar Depot was working in the morning shift. He allegedly collected the fare from commuters, but didn’t issue them tickets citing technical glitch in the machine. No sooner did the commuters complain than the PMPML officials seized the machine.
“When they connected it to the PMPML server, they found that the conductor was using an outdated machine. The ticketing machine didn’t show any entry of the sale of tickets. He must have using that duplicate machine deliberately,” said MB Suryavanshi, API, MIDC Bhosari.
The on-board e-ticket machines are in use since 2007. Vansha Infotec, which has provided the machine, charges 13 paise on sale of every ticket as commission. The company has assigned contractors for each PMPML depot. “It has been observed that the tampering is going on with contractors and conductors hand-in-glove. The tampering is done so that machine gets locked after a specific number of tickets are being issued. After the machine gets locked, the PMPML doesn’t get information about the sale of tickets,” said Jugal Rathi, President, PMP Pravasi Manch.
“Since about 2 weeks now, the e-ticketing server is not working and the information on sale of tickets doesn’t get registered. Hence, the monthly report of revenue earned in February is still pending. Hundreds of machines breakdown every month, due to which the PMPML is forced to use manual ticket trays,” Rathi added.
Police told that they are investigating the case. “We have not arrested the driver, as he claimed that before the start of the jouney he found that the machines weren’t working. The new device allotted by the PMPML officials later turned out to be fake. After a thorough investigation, we’ll take necessary action,” Suryavanshi added.
While the PMPML officials refused to comment on this issue, Sunil Gawali, the traffic manager said, “The picture will be clear after police investigation. Till then we cannot comment on this incident.”
E-ticketing woes for senior citizens
The senior citizens, who get concession on bus passes, are unable to book tickets online, as the facility is unavailable with the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC). Left with no option they reserve the tickets manually.
MSRTC offers 50 per cent concession to senior citizens on submission of their age proof. There is an e-ticket facility on msrtc.gov.in – the official website of MSRTC. But, the system seems to be not working for senior citizens.
An official agent for MSRTC Dinesh V Joshi said, “MSRTC has not introduced online facility for senior citizens. It is not possible to check the identity proof online.”
“The idea of verification is baseless. At the time of boarding, the conductor can always check the pass and identity proof and can impose a fine in case of fraud. The Railways provides this service online so there should be no problem for MSRTC,” Kulkarni added.
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