The hike from April 1 is not with the intention of augmenting the revenue, but to reduce the congestion on the platforms in the railway stations by dissuading people from entering the station.
However, the hike has put the Railway authorities in a predicament, with the platform ticket becoming more costly (Rs. 5 more) than that of a ticket for the nearest station in a passenger train. While the ticket from Salem Junction to Salem Town costs just Rs. 5, the lowest ticket fare, the platform ticket costs Rs. 10.
As such, people visiting the railway stations to receive or see off their friends and relatives are expected to opt for the passenger train ticket for the nearest station, instead of the platform ticket and thus save Rs. 5.
Moreover, the purchase of passenger train ticket has one more advantage. The passenger ticket is valid for the whole day, while the validity of a platform ticket purchased for Rs. 10 is only for a couple of hours, says E. Lakshman, a consumer activist.
No doubt, the hike in the platform ticket fare has given room for people to misuse the passenger train tickets. However, the Railways has chalked out a strategy to check the misuse of passenger train tickets.
A senior official of the Salem Railway Division told that the passenger train tickets of lowest fare are issued only during the timings of the trains. They will not be issued when no passenger train is scheduled to leave the particular station.
Moreover, the checking staff have been directed to intensify checking on the platforms.
The passenger train ticket holders will be allowed to move only on the platforms where the passenger trains are received and halted. Those with passenger train tickets found moving on the other platforms will be considered as ticketless travellers and will be fined as per the rules.