Ranchi: Luck ran out on ticketless travellers in Ranchi on Thursday. Worried over dipping revenue, Divisional Railway Manager, Ranchi Division Mr.G.Mallya and his men embarked on a surprise crackdown at the A-category station in the morning and practically curbed the free run of free riders at least for the day.
Though Team Mallya made its presence felt for only five hours till 10am, junior railway officials followed in the footsteps of their boss all day long to net 105 ticketless passengers.
According to the law, travelling on a train without a valid ticket invites a fine of Rs 250 in addition to the fare for the distance travelled by the offender. During the daylong drive, the crackdown team collected Rs 37,265.
Speaking to reporters, Mallya conceded that revenue losses had spurred the drive. “Revenue generated from railway tickets has dropped by 3.5 per cent this fiscal. So, we suspected that many passengers were traveling without tickets. The checking drive proved us right,” he said.
Most long-distance trains, particularly those coming from Patna, New Delhi and Howrah, arrive in Ranchi early in the morning. Hence, Mallya launched the crackdown from 5am. Besides railway officials, RPF jawans were deployed for security.
Many regular passengers of local trains said they did not purchase tickets because of long queues. “We have monthly ticket provision for them,” Mallya said.
He warned of more surprise checks at Ranchi as well as Hatia in days to come.