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Tokens back at Kolkata Metro counters after 21 months

Many non-frequent commuters, who were being forced to buy a smartcard for a Metro Railway ride, were pleasantly surprised on Thursday

Debraj Mitra | Published 26.11.21, 09:23 AM
Tokens being sold at Kalighat Metro station on Thursday morning.

Tokens being sold at Kalighat Metro station on Thursday morning.

Telegraph picture

Tokens returned at Metro stations after nearly 21 months on Thursday.

Many non-frequent commuters, who were being forced to buy a smartcard for a Metro Railway ride, were pleasantly surprised on Thursday.

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“Pawa jachhe naki (are tokens available),” was a common query at the counters.

A token for the shortest trip costs Rs 5. A smartcard costs Rs 120, including a refundable security deposit of Rs 80.

Day 1 of the resumption of tokens did not see a substantial rise in footfall, said Metro officials. But the count will eventually go up because of the re-introduction of tokens, they added.

A passenger uses a token to gain entry to the platform at Belgachhia Metro station. Token turnstiles buzzed back to life after a long gap of 21 months.

A passenger uses a token to gain entry to the platform at Belgachhia Metro station. Token turnstiles buzzed back to life after a long gap of 21 months.

Amit Datta/My Kolkata

Commuters bought the tokens from the counter or from vending machines installed in the concourse areas of some stations, placed them on the smart gates while entering a platform and while leaving, deposited it inside a slot in the gate.

Metro has a stock of around 2,00,000 tokens. But on the first day, only around 26,000 tokens were sold till 6pm, said an official.

“The total passenger count was a little over 3.47 lakh today, around 16,000 more than the count on Wednesday.”

The carrier has set up boxes at every station to sanitise the tokens.

Last updated on 26.11.21, 10:54 AM
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