After a deluge of complaints on social media, the Mumbai division of Central Railway (CR) has cracked down hard on ticketless passengers in local trains.
In April alone, the authorities apprehended 20,760 violators and seized Rs 86,18,828 in penalties. While 2,805 offenders were detected travelling without a ticket on AC locals, 5,742 were punished on non-AC local first-class buses, and 12,213 were nabbed on general coaches.
Officials said that if passengers fail to pay the penalty immediately, they are produced before a magistrate and prosecuted under the Railways Act, 1989.
They said the growing trend of ticketless travel can be attributed to proactive ticket-checking staff, who conduct regular and surprise checks that are intensified during rush hours. Some of the checks are also adventurously titled ‘ambush checks’ and ‘fortress checks’ and are held in association with the Railway Protection Force.
In the last financial year, over 18 lakh ticketless travellers were caught by CR’s Mumbai division and a total fine of over Rs100 crore was collected.