Mumbai: Western Railway makes QR code passes compulsory; Central Railway yet to decide

Updated: Jul 13, 2020, 07:26 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Starting July 20, WR to make it compulsory for govt staff to get QR passes from their offices, or they will be barred entry to stations

Essential services and government employees board a train at Kandivli railway station. File pic
Essential services and government employees board a train at Kandivli railway station. File pic

Western Railway has now made it compulsory for government employees to carry QR code passes from July 20. They will have to get the passes from their respective offices and show them while entering railway stations, or else they will not be allowed to travel and will be fined as well.

The railways have started making announcements in this regard at all the Western Railway stations. The Central Railway, however, is yet to take a decision.

"There have been concerns about social distancing onboard trains and the railways have been trying to work out solutions to streamline the crowds. The government and the BMC, in association with the Mumbai police, have been working on preparing QR code passes to be given out to essential services workers. The process of updating the database is in its last stages and it should be completed in a week. This is in addition to having staggered office timings to limit crowds onboard trains," a senior divisional official said. "The QR code passes will be in sync with the ID cards of employees for easier identification. They will also have colour coding to enable faster ticket checking so that there are minimal delays.

Essential services and government employees board a train at Kandivli railway station. File pic
Essential services and government employees board a train at Kandivli railway station. File pic

The employees can show the passes to the guards/TCs at entry gates on their phones," he added. Speaking to mid-day, WR's Mumbai Divisional Railway Manager GVL Satya Kumar said, "We wanted to push for this to monitor crowds and maintain social distancing inside trains."

The railways are also working on integrating this with the existing UTS ticketing system. A proposal has been moved with the railway board to get this done. The QR code passes were first introduced by then railway minister, Suresh Prabhu in March 2016 in line with the 2016-17 railway budget commitment to avoid misuse of unreserved tickets. Some people used to get the tickets printed illegally and circulation of unreserved tickets was affecting the railways' revenue. The bar coding feature includes details like ticket number, stock number, fare, source station, destination station, number of adults, number of children, train type,
class code and date of journey.

Two more services added

In addition to the existing 350 suburban services on the main line and harbour line of the Central Railway Mumbai division, the state government has identified two more services for essential workers. They will be added from July 13. A special train for Vashi will leave from Thane in the morning and another for Thane will leave from Vashi in the evening.

Mosquito breeding spots?

After receiving complaints regarding mosquito-breeding spots at the locomotive works section of the Western Railway workshop, Lower Parel, former BEST chairman and local Shiv Sena leader, Ashish Chemburkar visited the site on Saturday. However, WR officials did not comment on the issue.

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