The number of Mumbai local train first class passengers, who travel ticket less or do not take tickets corresponding to the class or length of their journey, has come down significantly in the last six months, a senior Central Railway (CR) official said.
The total number of first class passengers, who were caught holding second class tickets, were over-journeying, or were ticket less, in the Mumbai suburban trains dropped from 5,584 in April to 3,304 in October this year, he said.
In the April 2015-October 2015 period, a total of 25,911 first class passengers were booked by the CR and fine of Rs. 94.43 lakh was collected from them, he said.
Of these 25,911 cases, 18,186 passengers were travelling either ticket less or without a valid ticket, while 7,725 commuters were found over-journeying.
“We were receiving many complaints about lower class ticket holders travelling in higher class compartments. Hence, we launched a ticket-checking drive,” the official said.
“We undertook ticket-checking at all the major stations, including CST, Byculla, Dadar, Kurla, Thane, Kalyan, Mulund, Bhandup, Titwala, Badlapur, etc,” he apprised.
Upon confrontation, most of the defaulters said they were forced to enter first class compartments because second class compartments were overcrowded, the official said, adding they were penalised under relevant sections of the Railway Act.
Railway activist Anees Khan said, “The menace of ticket less passengers or those not carrying valid tickets has been on a rise. It’s good that the railway officials have started paying heed to the problem. We hope that punitive action against such passengers continues in future as well.”