Passengers without tickets being rounded up at Ranchi station on Thursday.
Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi railway division on Thursday cracked down on ticket-less passengers during a massive surprise drive at Ranchi station, which hinted at tighter monitoring in the coming days to boost ticket sales and revenue collections.
Officials of the railway commercial branch and personnel of railway protection force (RPF) caught as many as 25 passengers travelling without tickets and imposed fine.
Led by additional divisional railway manager (ADRM), Ranchi, Ramasish Yadav, the officials carried out the drive in two shifts —from 7.30am to 10.30am and then from 1.30pm to 4.30pm — randomly targeting commuters and frisking them for tickets.
The surprise ticket checking drive had immediate effect. Apart from fine collections, the station witnessed a 30 per cent hike in the ticket sale in the day with many “habitual defaulters” choosing to play it safe at least for Thursday.
However, the ADRM said such surprise drives would be conducted on a regular basis to curb the menace at Ranchi and Hatia stations.
“Some people, travelling without tickets, were detained and fined. Such drives will continue in the coming days too,” Yadav said.
Asked about the total collection in the day, the ADRM expressed his inability to quote exact figures right now.
“The minimum fine is Rs 250. So, whoever was caught without a ticket had to pay at least Rs 250, in addition to the standard fare. At least five persons were detained without any platform tickets,” he added.
Sources said additional manpower was brought from Muri station for the drive that mainly targeted up and down Ranchi-Lohardaga passenger trains. Sources said this particular train witnessed the maximum ticket-less travelling in the division.
Nevertheless, passengers of other trains, including Hatia-bound Howrah express, Dhanbad-Ranchi passengers and Pataliputra Express, were not spared either.
Some of Lohardaga-bound passengers had a genuine grievance. They complained they could not buy tickets because only one counter was open and that was overcrowded.
But, Yadav said: “Today we opened two counters. I request those who commute daily to get monthly passes to avoid this problem. It will not cost them more than Rs 235 a month.”
The ADRM also took stock of cleanliness and security arrangements at the station.