Ticketless travellers remain a big trouble for the railways with lakhs of such passengers getting caught across 68 divisions in the country every year. With railway authorities tightening the noose around the freeloaders by employing more number of ticket checkers and imposing stricter penalties, miscreants, too, seem to be employing new methods to escape. According to railway officials, in the last few months, a lot of cases have come to the fore of ticketless travellers impersonating policemen or catering staffers to evade detection.
Railway officials said that in last few months, they have caught four persons impersonating policemen — who also had forged ID cards on them — and travelling without a ticket. Besides, railway authorities have also caught six persons, who were posing as ticket checkers, and were either travelling without ticket or extorting money from other ticketless travellers.
Officials said the Central Railway has intensified its drive to curb the menace of ticketless travel. Senior officials are closely monitoring the revenue loss due to ticketless travel and such other irregularities.
“While performing the ticket checking duties, Central Railway staffers apprehended six fake ticket checkers, four fake police personnel and a fake catering staff over the past four to five months,” said an official.
In Pune Division alone, ticket checking staff caught 1.72 lakh ticketless travellers while the number for the entire Central Railway Zone, which has five divisions under it, is 19.15 lakh cases. Mumbai Division has registered the highest number of cases at 8.13 lakh.
“By penalising these ticketless travellers, the Central Railway has earned a revenue of over Rs 100 crore between April and September. The amount shows an increase of 13.99 per cent from the last year’s Rs 87.98 crore during the same period,” said an official. The fines collected from 19.15 lakh cases of irregular travels this year also show an increase of 9.92 per cent over 17.42 lakh cases during the corresponding period last year.