Passengers travelling long distance by trains are upset after tickets being issued by the Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs) on the central line were stopped. The system, which began just a few months ago, was cancelled after Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) asked for termination of the services.
According to CR officials, the ticketing facility was a good move and passengers were happy with it. “We had allotted only a few ATVMs at different stations to issue tickets for long-distance trains. We were about to increase the number of such ATVMs, but suddenly we have been asked to stop this facility with immediate effect,” said an official.
The facility, which began in December 2012, saw a good response from passengers. Initially, the ATVMs issuing non-suburban tickets were only at CST, Dadar and Kalyan. “But, seeing the positive response, we were supposed to extend this facility to other stations too,” added the official saying that at least 500 non-suburban tickets were being booked through the ATVMs, raking in huge profits for them.
Meanwhile, officials from the Western Railway (WR) are also unhappy with CRIS after they were not issued permission to start issuing tickets through ATVMs.
“We have been following and writing letters to them since February this year. We have been getting regular suggestions from passengers and passenger representatives to start the facility so as to avoid long queues.
Madhu Kotian, president of Rail Pravasi Sangh, said, “If passengers are being benefited by a service provided to us by the railways, then why stop it? This is just an ego problem on the part of the authorities of CRIS. I will complain to the railway board asking them the reason for shutting down the service.”
Atul Rane, Chief PRO, CR, said, “We were getting a very good response from passengers but the service was withdrawn by CRIS. We have again demanded for permanent permission for issuing non-suburban ticketing also with ATVM machines.”
Despite several attempts to contact officials at CRIS, they remained unreachable.