In a city as crowded as ours, railway platforms are no longer just spaces in which to wait for trains. Recently, people have been found using the premises to relax, lounge about and spend some leisure time by spending close to nothing.
Not happy with this development that could pose a threat to security in stations, the Central Railway (CR) authorities are mulling a hike in prices of platform tickets. They hope that the higher prices will discourage people from using the platforms as meeting places.
According to officials, there has been an increase in the number of people on platforms despite hiking the platform ticket prices on May 1, 2012 from Rs 3 to Rs 5. Officials say that in May 2011, the number of people who purchased platform tickets were 9,54,772, which increased to 11,66,543 in May 2012.
Cheap open space
“There are many people who purchase platform tickets and roam around the platform aimlessly. The platform tickets are valid for two hours. Which open space in the city is open to the public for two hours for just Rs 5?” asked a CR official. Officials grumble that platform tickets are commonly used by a lot of relatives wishing to bid farewell to their family members travelling away from home. “This is the biggest problem in India.
With each traveller, there will be five other family members accompanying him,” said the official. After the 26/11 attacks, a team of railway authorities had even recommended that people not travelling should not be allowed inside rail premises, he added. “However, it was later decided to simply increase the price,” said another official who added that platform tickets should cost a minimum of Rs 100.
He further commented that if the fare was high, the public would think twice before entering the platforms and security would be much better at platforms. A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “The aim for increasing the platform ticket fare was to restrict unwanted people from entering the railway premises. But any suggestion to increase the fares of platform tickets would be done through the railway board.”
The average number of passengers who purchased platform tickets, daily, in 2012
The average number of passengers who purchased platform tickets, daily, in 2011