The Indian Railways are expected to earn more than Rs 50,000 crore ($8 billion) over the next financial year, but ticketless travel has cost them almost Rs 2,000 crore ($300 million) over the last four years.

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu did not hike passenger fares in Rail Budget 2015 but Indian Railways suffer huge losses every year, specifically in terms of passenger train operations. One of the reasons given is low passenger fares.

Losses have been increasing every year; from 10 paise per passenger in 2000-01 to 23 paise in 2012-13, according to the railway ministry.

Nearly 45 million people, or more than the population of Argentina, were caught travelling without tickets or with improper tickets over the last four years, leading to a loss of more than Rs. 1,915 crore.

Persons Detected Travelling Without Ticket & Improper Tickets (In Million)

Zonal Railway2011-122012-132013-142014-15 (up to June 2014)
East Central0.7470.9171.0180.371
East Coast0.2120.2620.2880.09
North Central0.8380.9431.0830.431
North Eastern0.70.8290.8810.356
Northeast Frontier0.2960.3540.3890.127
North Western0.4370.4390.530.173
South Central1.2121.4621.7390.505
South Eastern0.3680.4060.4670.152
South East Central0.2330.2660.3090.104
South Western0.2570.3170.3650.096
West Central0.4920.6320.7080.297

Amount Of Railway Dues Realised(In Rupees Crore)

Zonal Railway2011-122012-132013-142014-15 (up to June 2014)
East Central26.3632.5637.8614.59
East Coast8.3111.4512.033.85
North Central37.1343.2552.621.66
North Eastern29.8537.140.817.68
Northeast Frontier15.4219.3322.528.37
North Western16.2116.7820.837.52
South Central52.0464.0972.9121.15
South Eastern14.3416.1919.476.77
South East Central8.510.1211.834.21
South Western1114.3418.164.92
West Central21.227.5632.7214.39

Source: Lok Sabha

Northern Railway topped the list in 2013-14, with more than 1.9 million people travelling without tickets or with improper tickets.

Central zone lost the maximum amount (Rs 84 crore) from ticketless travel in 2013-14, followed by Northern (Rs. 76.82 crore) and Western (Rs. 75.44 crore) zones.

Ticketing Initiatives in Rail Budget 2015

•Operation Five Minutes will ensure that a passenger travelling in an unreserved class can purchase a ticket within 5 minutes. The government will provide modified ‘hot buttons’, coin vending machines and ‘single destination teller’ windows that will reduce the transaction time.

•A special initiative is being launched for differently-abled travellers whereby they can purchase concessional e-tickets after one-time registration.

•The government has also proposed to work towards developing a multi-lingual e-ticketing portal. The government will also move towards crediting all refunds through the banking system.

•The government has already started a pilot project of issuing unreserved tickets on smart phones in the suburban sections of Central Railway, Western Railway and Southern Railway. The plan is to extend the project to all stations.

•Automatic ticket vending machines with smart cards and currency options have also been installed at many stations. It is proposed to increase this further and also introduce debit card operated machines.

Source: Railway Budget 2015


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