Ticketless? Buy a smart card

Feb 19, 2012, 06:56 IST | Shashank Rao

Central Railway ticket checkers threaten to strike after they are asked to promote the use of ATVMs to ticketless travellers

The ticket checker employees of the Central Railway submitted a letter to the Central Railway (CR) administration saying they were burdened after a proposal was made by CR officials asking TCs to promote the use of the automatic ticket vending machines (ATVMs) while fining ticketless travellers.

The railways want to popularise the use of ATVMs and slowly
phase out CVMs by next year

The request to promote the use of ATVMs comes as 76 machines have been commissioned for the Trans-harbour line of Thane-Vashi in addition to the 175 ATVMs across stations in the city.
The validity on smart cards has also been increased from six months to a year. The railways want to popularise the use of ATVMs and slowly phase out CVMs by next year.

Railway employees refuted this additional work. A ticket checker on condition of anonymity said, "Our primary job is to curb people from traveling without valid tickets. How can they expect us to persuade people in buying ATVMs at the same time? If that is the case we would rather stop checking passengers."

 "We are aiming at blocking those ticketless commuters who intentionally don't buy tickets. These TCs will only give them the option of buying the smart card with minimum worth," explained a senior CR official, who confirmed that they are facing opposition from the TCs.

Cracking the whip
The CR started a ticket checking drive at stations like CST, Kurla, Dadar, Ghatkopar, Thane and Dombivli on February 7 for two days.

During this time a total of 1174 cases of ticketless travel and unbooked luggage were detected. These included 100 cases of travel in first class and 714 in second class compartments. CR earned Rs 2.86 lakh as fines from offenders.

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