मुंबई Mumbai: A directive from Railway Board, asking both the Western and Central Railway to start noting down the addresses of commuters who buy season passes, is likely to lengthen queues and lead to other complications at ticket counters.
While the directive was come into effect from April, it is being implemented gradually across railway stations on both the Western and Central Railway. Sources said WR has been trying to convey to the Railway Board that the new requirement will lead to many complications.
A senior railway official said the directive was the outcome of an order of the Allahabad High Court to ensure that officials in all railway zones note down the addresses of commuters when issuing new season tickets or renewing old ones. He said, “The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), which handles the systems, first said that there was not enough space on season passes to display commuters’ addresses. It then made arrangements to do so, but said the system will not be able to handle long addresses and that booking clerk will have to note down such addresses on paper when issuing season tickets.” The official added that of the 70 lakh WR and CR commuters, around 48 lakh are season ticet holders.
AWR official said that apart from the delays, the system will be impossible to implement in Mumbai owing to its large migrant population. “We are still not completely clear on what kind of address proof will be accepted. Booking clerks have already started telling us they do not want to fight with commuters over this and hence we have asked our senior officials to implement the new system only after there is clarity on this. Otherwise there could be huge fights at booking counters,” warned the official.
Meanwhile, booking clerks are already wary of the new system, saying that noting down the address of every season ticket holder will cause huge delays. Under the current system, an ID card is issued to season ticket holders, on which they are expected to write their addresses.
“We try to issue at least three tickets per minute and still there are long queues. If we have to note down addresses as well, it will take even more time and people in queue will get agitated,” said a booking clerk, who did not wish to be named.
ACR official, however, said the delays caused by the new system will be temporary. “For every address added to the database, a will be code generated, and from the next time onwards, there will be no need for commuters to furnishing their address proof. We should also see the positive aspects,” said the official.