In an ironic twist, railway authorities, who usually struggle to crack down on unauthorised passengers, found their own employees travelling in long-distance trains without the requisite permission.
After repeated complaints from passengers of long distance trains, Central Railway (CR) authorities along with the Railway Protection Force conducted a drive and caught more than 20 railway employees for boarding express long-distance trains without a valid pass or ticket.
According to railway officials, they have been receiving several verbal and written complaints about unauthorised passengers travelling in the reserved compartments of long-distance trains.
“We conducted a surprise check on December 4 and found that many railway employees who are not entitled to board the express trains were doing so. Their passes have been confiscated and will be returned only after sending an official complaint to their seniors,” said a railway official.
The drive was conducted during evening peak hours in long-distance trains, including the Vidarbha Express. The employees who were caught will even have to purchase tickets to travel in local trains now.
The drive was conducted between CST and Kalyan, and Karjat and Kasara. Railway officials said that these employees would board the express trains just because local trains are very crowded during the peak hours.
Arun Saxena, a passenger, said, “I have lodged written complaints with the station master and also told them orally about people who simply board the train and occupy the reserved seats without asking bonafide passengers. We are really thankful to railway authorities for conducting this drive.”
Railway authorities said that similar drives would be conducted on a regular basis after a gap of a few days.
A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “This was a regular drive that had been done to catch unauthorised passengers using invalid passes to travel in long-distance trains. It was a surprise check and such drives will be conducted in the future also.”