In order to dock the serpentine queues at ticket counters at railway stations, the railways opened up certain shops right outside station premises a few months ago to issue tickets to commuters and save everyone time. However, owners of most of these shops in Navi Mumbai say they have not been receiving a good response from commuters, as most of them prefer getting tickets at the regular price from the railway ticket counters.
The ticket shops, present outside certain railway stations in Navi Mumbai - namely Vashi, Nerul, Kharghar and Sanpada - charge commuters Re 1 extra on a single ticket and Rs 2 on a return ticket. Passengers say that they do not find it necessary to pay a rupee or two extra to get a ticket from these shops - they’d rather queue up.
The shops, set up by the central government, are open from 7 am to 10 pm and charge Re 1 extra per ticket. On an average, they earn a profit of Rs 500-800 daily. Vaibhav Thakur, one such ticket shop owner outside Vashi station, said, “The central government has spent almost Rs 1,60,000 on the installation of machinery. The tickets purchased from our outlets outside stations have all the details printed on them.
The printed copy of the ticket contains the extra amount that has been charged so there is no scope of defrauding commuters or the government. Our ticket shops do not ask for the exact change, whereas the ticket counters do.” He added, “It’s up to the commuters from where they wish to purchase tickets. But there are people who come to us to buy tickets as it saves time. However, we have not received a very good response till now despite the shorter queues at our shops.”
Sandhya Bhalerao, who issues tickets at a stall outside Sanpada station, said, “The shops are there to help commuters. But they seem to want to carry on purchasing tickets from the railway counters, as they have to shell out extra at these shops. It’s their time and they should value it. It does not matter to us much.” CR’s public relations officer AK Singh said, “These are not standalone shops. These ticket booths are part of the Jansadharan Ticket Booking Service devised to save commuters time. There are some 20 of these in Navi Mumbai and 143 in Mumbai. It depends on the commuters where they want to go and buy tickets.”
The shops charge Re 1 extra and that is not done. The ticket counter at the station is much more affordable. Common people cannot shell out so much on every ticket. - Neela Rane, a commuter at Sanpada station
It is convenient to take tickets from the ticket shops outside the stations. It’s not a big deal spending a rupee extra on the ticket but it really saves us time. - Minal Jadhav, a commuter at Vashi station