With the Central Railway (CR) discontinuing the practice of allowing purchase of coupons without standing in the queue at ticket windows, the administration is experiencing a dip in sale of CVM (coupon vending machine) coupons by 40 per cent. The directive was issued on April 1. “After CR made it mandatory for commuters to buy coupons by standing in queues, we have received numerous complaints. Arguments between booking clerks and commuters have increased,” said a senior CR official.
Madhu Kotian, president of Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, feels that the new rule is CR’s ploy to promote ATVMs (automatic ticket vending machine). “This is what they wanted. They did it intentionally to decrease the sale of coupons, so that they can inform the Railway Board that the sales have taken a hit. We will not allow this to happen,” said Kotian.
According to Kotian, lakhs of commuters opt for CVM coupons because they are user-friendly. Unlike ATVM, punching coupons doesn’t require a user to follow multiple instructions, thus making it easy for those who don’t know how to read. “We have already written to the Railway Board, requesting it to reconsider its decision. Apart from this, we have also collected 50,000 signatures to protest the phasing out of CVM coupons,” he said.
At present, there are 350 CVMs and 250 ATVMs on the Central line. A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “The Ministry of Railways has decided to phase out CVMs and promote ATVMs. Today, more and more passengers are opting for ATVM cards instead of CVM coupons. In addition, we have installed new ATVMs at several stations.”
Did you know?
>> CR has 250 ATVMs on its suburban section and is planning to install another 675
>> There are about 428 booking windows across suburban section (CR)
>> The daily average sale of tickets on suburban network (CR) is about Rs 9.71 lakh (Rs 5.7 lakh via UTS, Rs 2.91 lakh via CVMs and Rs 1.1 lakh via ATVMs)
Ups and downs
Some of the stations where sale of CVM coupons has gone up by 130 per cent are Shelu, Khadvali and Vashind. Some of the stations where sale has dipped are CST, Masjid Bunder, Chinchpokli, Dadar, Matunga, Mulund, Thane, Dombivli and Kalyan.