Indian Railways earns huge Rs 1,097 crore! Imposing penalties on ticketless travellers has helped the national transporter over Rs 1,000 crore – a sum that could see an increase by the end of this financial year. According to an IE report, as many as 2,000 “touts” involved in the black marketing of railway tickets have been booked by Indian Railways across the nation. The whopping amount of Rs 1,097 crore has been saved between the duration of April 2017 to February 2018. According to some Railway officials another Rs 200 crore could be earned in March. In addition to this India Railways earned 600 crore extra per year with the help of “flexi fares” that were introduced two years ago. The flexi fare refers to the increase of fare based on demand in premium trains.
According to some officials, drives have been carried out by a large number of TTE staff, supported by security forces and were backed up by CCTV coverage across major railway stations. During these drives, there were “ambush checks” and “fortress checks” by the officials. Adding to this, the officials also said that the general unreserved class in long-distance trains mostly have a large number of offenders.
According to the report, 3 crore offenders were found travelling without a valid ticket between the period of April 2017 and February 2018. Other than those travelling without tickets, there were also other kind of offenders including those with tickets in others’ names, children travelling without tickets, and adults travelling on half-tickets. The IE report also stated that the trains and railway stations around Delhi had the highest number of ticketless travellers. Around Rs 150 crore have been collected by Northern Railways from these drives, around Rs 46 crore more than the last year. Meanwhile, Central Railway of Mumbai earned Rs 143 crore, around Rs 25 crore more than the last year.
Generally, travellers travelling without tickets are made to pay the original fare between the origin and destination of the train journey along with the penalty amount of Rs 250. Moreover, in case of premium trains, the penalty amount is double. Therefore, under provision of Sections 143 and 144 of the Railways Act, 1989, touts and unauthorised vendors are booked by the national transporter. In addition to this, under provision of Section 143 of Railways Act, 1989, illegal users of online e-tickets are prosecuted.
Since the time Railway budget has been merged with the General Union Budget, this money goes to the Finance Ministry. The report also stated the fact that in order to lay around 70 km of new lines, which includes cost of the land, Indian Railways spends Rs 1,000 crore. As per 2016-17 figures, the Railways’ total passenger business is worth Rs 46,280 crore. They have also targeted to achieve Rs 50,000 crore mark by the end of this year and to add more railway passengers in the coming financial year.