Rule on short distance train tickets changed

Now, unreserved tickets to be issued only one day in advance

The move has been effected recently but it was not publicised, said top railway sources. It may be recalled that Mamata Banerjee’s Railway budget presented in June this year had permitted issual of all unreserved tickets three days prior to the journey. As on date, general tickets are issued only a day in advance for distances within 200 kms from the point of purchase (ticket purchasing centre) but it will continue to be issued three days in advance for distances above 200 kms.  

Passengers heading towards Mysore, Hosur, Dharmavaram, Tumkur, Krishnagiri, Bangarpet and Mandya railways stations are among those who would be affected if the open tickets are purchased at Bangalore.

According to an official source, a few passengers became irate in Mysore when the stoppage of unreserved tickets commenced at that station but have become reconciled to it now. “Not many people were actually aware of the decision to issue unreserved tickets for all destinations three days in advance. So, we could cancel the scheme for short distances and get away without much resistance,” he said.

Elaborating on the misuse, an official said that since Ticketing Examiners (TEs) could not check tickets at every railway station and sign them, the same ticket would be used on all three days by a passenger, who takes care to book them early. “This misuse had to be stopped as it would result in loss of revenue for the department in the long run,” he said.  

On the reason behind shelving the scheme, Divisional Railway Manager, Bangalore Division, Akhil Agrawal, said that the Division was merely implementing orders issued from New Delhi. On the response from public to the change effected, the DRM said, “No negative reaction has come to my notice yet.”

The fallout of the move has been the serpentine queue outside open ticket counters before the departure of trains.

Meanwhile, a union member from South Western Railway Mazdoor Union claimed that passengers were suffering a lot due to the decision.

“They must get back to issuing tickets three days in advance for distances below 200 kms too,” he felt.

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