Mumbai: If you are a local train commuter enjoying the fact that ticket checkers (TCs) have disappeared from platforms of late, don’t rejoice just yet. In truth, they are more in number than ever, lurking in platforms in plain clothes. In place of the 5-10 ticket checkers deployed earlier per station, as many as 50-100 are flocking a single station these days.
CR’s income from fines is unprecedented this year. In comparison to 31,810 ticketless travellers caught last year, 50,228 have already been apprehended this year. While the railways earned Rs 68 lakh by way of fines last year, it has already raked in Rs 1.17 crore this year.
In the meantime, regular commuters claim that the ticket checkers have disappeared. Seema Parihar, a regular commuter of CST, said, “I have been observing for a while that ticket checkers are not present in the railway stations. I have hardly ever met a ticket checker at CST station. Earlier, ticketless travellers would be caught without fail at major stations like CST and Dadar due to availability of large number of ticket checking staff.”
Like Seema, many other passengers are clueless about the fact that more TCs than ever have been deployed at the platforms. Rajesh Salunkhe, another regular at Dadar station, said, “Earlier, I would be asked to show my ticket almost every day in the week, but for the past few months no ticket checker has apprehended me at the station, so I am surprised.”
One of the reasons the ticket checking staff have become inconspicuous is that they are in plainclothes. “We were unsure if this system would work, but within a few months we have achieved positive results and our strategy is working,” said an official.
There are 1,388 ticket checkers, distributed among suburban and in non-suburban stations on the basis of need. A K Singh, PRO, CR, said, “We have initiated this as a new strategy for ticketless passengers. We are getting good feedback and also our income has increased during this period.