The prices of platform tickets were raised in order to maintain social distancing at the time when COVID-19 started spreading in March, this year.
Why did Indian Railways increase platform ticket prices? Recently, the national transporter justified increasing the platform ticket price to Rs 50 by saying that it was necessary in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Recently, Vinod Kumar Yadav, Railway Board Chairman was quoted in an ANI report saying that such steps are essential to maintain the social distancing norms on the station platform, considering the novel coronavirus pandemic. According to Yadav, the prices of platform tickets were raised in order to maintain social distancing at the time when COVID-19 started spreading in March, this year.
Indian Railways has instructed that only those passengers who have confirmed train tickets will be permitted on the station premises. Those on the waiting list are not allowed. The Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) have been authorized to decide the prices of platform tickets, as per the local situation. Wherever the congestion is growing and there is difficulty in maintaining social distancing at the stations, they can increase the rates of platform tickets. The DRMs, under this directive of the national transporter, have decided to increase the price of platform tickets at many big railway stations. Yadav has also made it clear that after the end of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the ticket prices can be changed by assessing the situation.
The DRMs have already been instructed that after the coronavirus crisis, the situation for changing the price will be reviewed. Yadav further said that whenever there is a special occasion, like a festival season when the railway stations get very crowded, Indian Railways does not want people to come from outside who are not passengers and increase the station crowd by taking platform tickets.
Meanwhile, the national transporter has also clarified that the increase in the price of platform tickets by Pune Junction railway station has been done to dissuade people/passengers from coming unnecessarily onto the station platforms as well as to ensure social distancing is maintained amid the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.