Allahabad अल्लाहाबाद (ALD): The recommendation of the Allahabad high court to the railway board asking all zonal railways to take down the residential address of the passengers buying season passes might be a logistical nightmare for the railways – with over 45-lakh season passes in Mumbai’s suburban systems alone, but it is also a big security boost.
It will provide the railways with the residential addresses of millions of Mumbaikars and as one official puts it, more than 60 per cent of all 75 lakh-odd daily commuters travel on season passes.
The Allahabad HC has recommended that the railway authorities share this data with the railway police as well as the RPF to allow both the security agencies to keep a tab on trouble-makers.
In what is a recommendation that would go a long way in making rail travel safe, the Allahabad high court has recommended the railway board that the format for applying for a season ticket should have a declaration that in the event of the pass-holder’s involvement in any offence under the IPC or the Railways Act, on platform or trains, the ‘seasonal ticket will be cancelled and will not be reissued’. The high court recommendation in this regard clearly states that ‘people enjoying concession under the railway rules are not supposed to violate the Railways Act’.
For years now, the sore point among security agencies was that while the railways issued identity cards to season pass-holders, which were valid for seven years, the railways, despite its massive computer network, did nothing to create a database of the pass-holders.
While officials say that the need to take down the address of people will hugely impact the ticketing queues in the city, they agree that it will help in the long run. Currently the booking clerks manage to give out around three normal tickets every minute and a season pass in a minute-and-a-half.”
Having everyone to give addresses, feeding them into the computer in a particular format will take some time. But yes, the ground reality is that the railways gets a database of millions of Mumbaikars, which can be used by security agencies to nab criminals,” said a senior railway official.