Amid COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways caught 27 lakh ticketless passengers travelling on trains in 2020-21

In the last fiscal, over 27 lakh people were caught travelling ticketless on Indian Railways’ trains, an RTI query has revealed. This happened despite having severe restrictions on passengers’ entry at railway stations without confirmed tickets in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the figure was 25% of the number of ticketless cases registered the previous financial year and that is attributable to the restrictions imposed by the government to check the novel coronavirus contagion, according to officials quoted in a PTI report. The Railway Board made available the data following an RTI query made by MP-based activist Chandra Shekhar Gaur, which showed that between the period of April 2020 and March 2021, a total of 27.57 lakh people were caught travelling ticketless and an amount of Rs 143.82 crore was levied as a fine from them.

In the financial year 2019-2020, 1.10 crore people were caught in total, travelling ticketless and a cumulative fine of Rs 561.73 crore was realized from them. The fiscal of 2020-2021 was the period when the national transporter in its history ran the least number of passenger trains due to the pandemic and there were severe restrictions on the movement of passengers inside railway premises, including non-issuance of platform tickets. It includes the period of lockdown between April 14 and May 3 when Piyush Goyal-led Indian Railways was not operating any passenger trains except the Shramik Specials which started from the month of May.

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