CVMs gone, Mumbai local train commuters face trouble

Season pass-holders complain that they have to stand in long queues to get a journey extension after Indian Railways' decision to disband Coupon Validating Machines (CVMs)

From May 1, the Indian Railways disbanded Coupon Validating Machines (CVMs) from the Mumbai suburban system, leaving lakhs of people dependent on the ticket counters, Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) and the recently launched mobile ticketing system. The problem now faced by people is when they want to extend their journey, especially the season pass holders.

File photo of an ATVM machine
File photo of an ATVM machine

Lack of coordination betw-een the Central and Western Railway and their software agency, Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), is leading to more issues. Sources said that for more than a year, Western Railway (WR) has been asking for making arran-gements for journey extension through ATVMs. WR also wants a provision to refill ATVM cards at all its ticket windows instead of two at each station. On the other hand, the Central Railway (CR) claims that they too have received suggestions from people on having this function installed in ATVMs, but haven’t been able to proceed further. “We have been asking CRIS to make this provision, but for some reason there has been a delay. On the other hand CRIS managed to introduce a complicated mobile ticketing system,” said a railway official.

WR has around 450 ATVMs and CR has nearly 600 ATVMs across Mumbai with each of them having a facility for mobile ticketing, that was launched by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier this year.

Officials said that there are no glitches in the ATVMs but only a minor addition is needed. This has now resulted in longer queues at ticket counters across Mumbai railway stations. Moreover, people have been complaining that due to non-availability of journey extension, they are forced to stand in queues even after having season passes. The ATVMs comprise around 15-17 per cent of the total ticket sales on
both railways.

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