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Business News/ News / India/  Railways see 79% rise in ticketless travel, 1.78cr nabbed in 9 months of 2021-22
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Railways see 79% rise in ticketless travel, 1.78cr nabbed in 9 months of 2021-22

The Railway Board made available the data in response to an RTI query filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.

The response revealed that during April-December 2021, more than 1.78 crore passengers were detected travelling without ticket/with improper ticket and unbooked luggage (HT)Premium
The response revealed that during April-December 2021, more than 1.78 crore passengers were detected travelling without ticket/with improper ticket and unbooked luggage (HT)

In an response to an RTI, it was revealed that more that 1.78 crore were nabbed by the Indian Railways, travelling ticketless and or with unbooked luggage in the first nine months itself of 2021-22. The number is almost a 79% increase from the the non-Covid-hit fiscal of 2019-2020.

The Railway Board made available the data in response to an RTI query filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.

The response revealed that during April-December 2021, more than 1.78 crore passengers were detected travelling without ticket/with improper ticket and unbooked luggage.

An amount of 1,017.48 crore was realised from them as fine, it said.

Sources cited the surge in ticketless travelling and or with unbooked luggage to the fact that even though Covid restrictions have been lifted, many trains take only online booking and has limited services. 

“The problem is that after the severe restrictions on travel over the last two years, people are now travelling more and more. Some because of emergencies and many more for leisures. While the number of travellers has increased, the number of trains, their frequencies have remained the same. We have introduced clone trains and things will get better," said an official.

During the 2020-21 period the country was under lockdown and there were severe restrictions on travel via train, which is when this number stood at 27 lakh, according to the RTI response. 

As for the 2019-2020 fiscal, which was not impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, 1.10 crore people were caught travelling ticketless and a total fine of 561.73 crore was recovered from them.

Between April 2020 and March 2021 i.e. 2020-21 fiscal, 27.57 lakh people were caught travelling ticketless and 143.82 crore was levied as fine on them.

Passengers have also complained that there was a demand-supply mismatch as far as train services are concerned.

In fact, according to data provided by the Railways, over 52 lakh people who were on the waitlist after finalisation of seat reservation charts could not travel by trains in the first six months of the current fiscal, indicating a need for more trains on busy routes.

Till September of the financial year 2021-2022, 32,50,039 PNRs (passenger name records), against which 52,96,741 passengers had bookings, were auto-cancelled as they were in the waitlist status after the preparation of the charts,

According to Railways data, there has been a significant increase in the number of passengers availing train services from 2019-2020 to 2021-22.

In October 2019, when regular train services were in operation, the number of passengers who travelled by trains was 4.40 crore. In September 2021, with an improvement in the Covid-19 situation, the number rose to almost seven crore.

The RTI also said that during April 2021 to December 2021, the overall occupancy of reserved accommodation was 99.65 per cent.

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Published: 20 Feb 2022, 04:46 PM IST
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