East Central Railway (ECR) today said it had collected Rs 1.55 crore as penalty from 44,904 people who travelled without tickets, smoked on trains and railway premises and pulled chains illegally in the month of August. A total of 40,000 people were caught travelling either without ticket or invalid ticket and Rs 1.34 crore was collected from them, ECR Chief Public Relation Officer Arvind Kumar Rajak said in a statement. Likewise, 402 people were penalised under section 141 of Railway Act for illegal chain pulling in trains in the Railway zone and Rs 2.75 lakh was recovered from them as fine, it said. Hajipur-based ECR comprises of Sonepur, Danapur, Mughalsarai, Dhanbad and Samastipur divisions. A total of 622 illegal vendors were caught and Rs 7 lakh collected from them during the month. Nineteen people were punished on charges like travelling on reserved seats of others, travelling on train roofs or stairs and forcing officials to open railway gates, it said. A total of 830 people were penalised for smoking on the Railway premises despite the ban on it, while 1061 males were taken into custody for travelling illegally in women compartments, it added.