More than one crore passengers were fined for travelling without a ticket in 2019-20, earning the Railways a revenue of ₹561.73 crore — a growth of around 6 percent over 2018-2019, an RTI application has found.
The Railways has earned ₹1,938 crore through fines imposed on ticketless travellers between 2016-2020, a rise of 38.57 percent from 2016.
An RTI application filed by Madhya Pradesh-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur revealed the details.
The Railways earned ₹405.30 crore as penalties from ticketless travellers in 2016-17. In 2017-18, it recovered ₹441.62 crore and it earned ₹530.06 crore in 2018-19. In 2019-2020, 1.10 crore passengers were found travelling without valid tickets.
The Indian Railways has laid down norms to curb ticketless travel.
A passenger travelling without a ticket needs to pay a minimum fine of ₹250 along with the cost of the ticket. If a passenger refuses to pay the fine, the person is handed over to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and booked under Section 137 of the Railways Act.
After that, the person is presented before a magistrate. The magistrate can fine him for ₹1,000. In case the person still refuses to pay the fine, he or she may be jailed for up to six months.
A Parliament Railway Convention Committee had in 2018 raised concerns over the loss of revenue due to ticketless travel after inspecting the Railways financial report of 2016-17.
Taking cognisance of the observation, the Railway Board directed zonal railways to intensify the drive against ticketless travellers across the country. The zonal railways were also asked to fix annual targets for Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTE).