The First Bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notice to the Railway Ministry and the Chairman of the Railway Board on a petition seeking abolishment of unreserved ticket counters and appointment of conductors in unreserved compartments.

A public interest litigation petition filed by a Chennai-based advocate, Purushothaman, argued that such an arrangement would hugely benefit passengers besides helping Railways save money.

Chief Justice M. Yusuf Eqbal and Justice T.S. Sivagnanam ordered issue of notice when the matter came up for hearing.

Recalling the “horrid” experience of one of his clients, who travelled in an unreserved compartment since he could not get a confirmed ticket, Mr. Purushothaman explained the difficulties faced by him in buying a ticket from the crowded counters.

There was no need for passengers to wait in queues to get tickets for unreserved compartments if ticket conductors with handheld ticket machines were appointed. Passengers need not carry luggage and rush between the ticket counters and platform. “They need not board any train fearing cancellation charges.” He said the Railways could make huge profits by taking these steps since there would not be ticketless travel.

“Security agencies need not waste time in manning ticket counters and booking and prosecuting offenders.”