No excuses, just buy a ticket

With TCs being asked to either meet penalty collection targets or face a transfer out of the city, the men in black are in no mood to spare their ‘quarry’

It’s now more injurious to travel without a ticket on Western Railway. A recent WR circular says the ticket checkers (TCs) who fail to meet their penalty collection targets will be shifted out of Mumbai. Not only this, their daily targets have been upped from Rs 700 to Rs 900 per day.

A girl is caught unawares by the TC

Not surprisingly, TCs have vowed that even the best of excuses will not be able to save the offenders. If such commuters don’t have the money, the police lock-up is waiting for them, they say.

WR officials say the Central Railway’s TCs have done a far better job in collecting fines than their WR colleagues.

While CR TCs increased their total penalty collection for the period between April and February from Rs 8.65 crore in 2006 to Rs 11.24 crore in 2007, the WR ones could only manage to increase their fines from Rs 11 crore to Rs 12.67 crore for the same period.

This, WR officials say, is because their ticket checkers are probably not getting as many ticketless passengers as those at CR.


However, WR TCs say the administration has made the job tougher by making it mandatory for them to wear uniform while on duty. They say it alerts the ticketless travellers, who them escapes.

“We see so many people alighting from the wrong side and escaping when they see us in uniform. This is making it tougher for us to meet our targets,” says a senior TC.

However, the officials say the sight of more men in uniform (black coats) at a station plays a psychological part as people deem it wiser to buy tickets.

It appears to be a long-drawn battle with unions demonstrating against the new order in front of the divisional manager’s office at Mumbai Central on Monday afternoon.

(1) Vishal Chandoliya is caught for producing a ticket that was punched thrice instead of once (2) Milind Thorat, a minor, was caught travelling on his brother’s pass (3) Sanjeev Choudhary was caught travelling ticketless

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