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Railways: 1.78 cr ticketless passengers in first 9 months of FY'22

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

Indian railways

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Railways caught more than 1.78 crore ticketless passengers, and those with unbooked luggage, in the first nine months of 2021-22, a jump of around 79 per cent from the non-Covid-hit fiscal of 2019-2020, according to an RTI response.
During the coronavirus impacted fiscal of 2020-21, when severe restrictions on traffic movement were in place, the number of such passengers stood at 27 lakh.
The data was made available by the Railway Board in response to the RTI query filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur.
The RTI response also 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 Rs 1,017.48 crore was realised from them as fine, it said.
Sources indicated that one of the major reasons for such a surge in ticketless travel is the fact that even now, when most of the Covid restrictions have been lifted, many express and superfast trains have only online booking and limited services. '

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 Rs 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 Rs 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,

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.
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.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 20 2022 | 6:41 PM IST

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