Mumbai: WR's 'fortress checks' rake in fines at Andheri

In the last three months, TCs have caught people using the FOB without a ticket; many claim they are simply using the skywalk connecting the Metro and the station’s FOB

For the past few months, ticket checkers (TCs) standing at major railway stations on Western Railway (WR) has become a usual sight for commuters.

Around 1,346 TCs have managed to catch more than 15,000 people from five railway stations, for travelling without a ticket
Around 1,346 TCs have managed to catch more than 15,000 people from five railway stations, for travelling without a ticket

To discourage people from ticketless travelling or using railway premises without a ticket, rail authorities have been conducting ‘fortress checks’ a wall of TCs stand on foot over bridges (FOBs) and check tickets of as many people as possible.

In the last five months, they have managed to catch more than 15,000 people and collected fines close to Rs 39.93 lakh, mostly from Andheri station. Sources say that many commuters caught at Andheri station reason that they are on the railway bridge without a ticket because they were simply using the skywalk that connects the Metro rail and the FOB at Andheri station.

The TCs also admit that this has been a primary excuse when people are caught, and it is difficult to establish these claims. Apart from the FOB that connects the two modes of transport, there are other exits at the Metro station that people also use to access the road close to Andheri station.

“If people want to simply cross the bridge, they have to use the public FOB next to the bridge. In addition, there are ATVMs and CVMs at the junction where the Metro rail bridge ends and railway FOB starts,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.

WR officials of Mumbai division have been conducting continuous fortress checks at Andheri for the last three months. In July, they also conducted surprise checks at Surat, and in August, at Borivli. In May and June, TCs were found standing at platforms of Borivli and Dadar stations respectively.

Between May and September, WR authorities have conducted 11 fortress checks, and 1,346 TCs have caught 15,458 people and collected Rs 39.93 lakh in fines.

“We are carrying out continuous checks at stations. It is surprising that even now, people don’t buy tickets. During peak hours, there are chances that many ticketless travellers might have managed to dodge the wall of TCs,” said a WR official.

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