Railway Minister expresses concern over unauthorised persons travelling in reserved coaches 

Instructs General Managers to conduct intensive drive involving RPF personnel to curb the menace 

Published - June 14, 2024 01:07 am IST - CHENNAI

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw.

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. | Photo Credit: PTI

Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has expressed serious concern over the trend of unauthorised persons travelling in reserved coaches. 

According to railway sources, Mr. Vaishnaw held a video conference with the General Managers of all Zonal Railways on June 13 and pointed to the surge in the number of complaints received in the ‘RailMadad’ application about unreserved passengers travelling in reserved coaches and called for effective measures to curb the same. 

Zonal Railways were told to launch special intensive drives involving the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police personnel to ensure that only passengers holding confirmed tickets travelled in reserved coaches, the sources said.

The move came a day after The Hindu reported how several passengers could not board Train No. 12840 Chennai Central-Howrah Superfast Mail on Tuesday night here after unauthorised persons barged into Sleeper Class coaches and occupied reserved berths. Southern Railway had contended the sudden rush was due to festival holiday and arranged travel for some passengers who missed the train by allowing berths under the Emergency Quota. 

Drive against unauthorised travellers

Acting on the instructions of the Railway Minister, Southern Railway launched an operation against unauthorised travellers. Ten trains that had increasing number of complaints from passengers in reserved coaches were short-listed for intensified action.

Besides the long-distance trains that are prone to complaints of overcrowding in reserved compartments, instructions were given to the Commercial and Security department officials to deploy adequate number of ticket-checking staff and RPF personnel on all trains, the sources said.

If unauthorised persons were found to be travelling in reserved coaches, railway staff were told to impose penalty (excess fare) up to the point of detection and de-board them at the stopping station with the help of security personnel. 

Announcements would be made at originating stations and also en route advising passengers with season tickets, general or waitlisted tickets not to board reserved coaches. 

Among the trains that were found to be prone to unauthorised travel, Train No. 16127 Chennai Egmore-Guruvayur Express topped the list with 68 complaints in the month of May alone followed by Train No. 16235 Thoothukudi-Mysuru Express and Train No. 12635 Chennai Egmore-Madurai Vaigai Superfast Express which reported 35 and 27 complaints respectively. 

Instructions were given late on June 13 to Senior Divisional Commercial Managers across the zone to give daily feedback on the action taken on the issue, such as the de-boarding of unauthorised passengers and imposing of penalty. 

To clear the extra rush of passengers to the eastern sector, Southern Railway said it operated a one-way Chennai Central-Santragachi unreserved special train with 19 General Second Class coaches, one Second Class coach (Divyangjan-friendly) and one luggage-brake van. Another train on the Chennai Central-Santragachi-Chennai Central route was also organised on Thursday with 15 Sleeper Class coaches and 2 Second Class coaches (Divyangjan-friendly).

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