Mumbai: Railways to discontinue coupon validating machines

One of the most convenient options of ticketing, the coupon validating machines (CVMs), which was initially introduced to reduce queues at ticket counters will be discontinued from April 1. The Railway Board has decided to stop this form selling tickets as they were unable to make it foolproof.

"The Ministry of Railways has decided to discontinue the operation of CVMs. However coupons available with passengers will be continued for a month's period by stamping on the coupons," read a statement from Railways. The coupons were one of the most convenient way to get tickets, wherein people had to buy bunch of coupons from the ticket counters amounting to Rs 40 and above. Each leaflet of this bunch of coupons had different denomination and had to be stamped inside a red-coloured machine placed at all the railway stations in Mumbai.

Sources said that there were plans to put a bar-code on these coupons as they received complaints of people taking coloured printouts and illegally duplicating it. Also there were frequent complaints with the machines as well. As per plans, the Railway Board wanted to shut this scheme more than a year back but the Western and Central railways asked for extension. Finally now, decision has been taken to close this ticketing system completely.

On the other hand the Central Railway claim that the sale of tickets through ATVMs is about 21% of total sale of tickets and this percent has risen drastically. The CR has installed 383 ATVMs at 74 suburban stations and are considering to further add 275 new ATVMs. While the Western Railway, which has around 450 ATVMs, too is promoting sale through ATVMs for which they are holding training kiosks at various stations.

To purchase a ticket through ATVM the passenger has to purchase a Smart Card first which can be recharged as per requirement. The passenger is benefited with 5% more value i.e. with the charging of Rs 100 the passenger can purchase the tickets valued at Rs 105. To make these ATVMs more user friendly and to make them avail by more passengers Central Railway has deputed retired government employees as facilitators at some crowded stations.

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