Smoking in trains might land you in jail! Indian Railways mulling harsher penalty for rule breakers

Smoking in the train might cost you dearly as the Indian Railway is mulling to impose a severe penalty including arrest of travellers found smoking in the train, news agency PTI reported. The government is understood to have thought of imposing harsher punishment on smokers after the probe into the recent fire incident in one of the Shatabdi Express coaches found cigarette stubs to be the immediate cause behind the incident.

Officials privy to the probe told PTI that cigarette and bidi stubs which were thrown in the dustbin caught fire with the help of soiled tissue papers and led to the fire incident in S5 coach of the New Delhi-Dehradun Shatabdi Special train. The officials further said that the fast moving Shatabdi train may have further aided the inflammation. The fire incident had occured on March 13 near Raiwala in Uttarakhand.

At present, smoking cigarettes or bidi on the train is an offence under Section 167 of the Railways Act however the amount of penalty charged for the offence is just Rs 100 which does not act as a strong deterrent against smoking. Recently in a meeting of the Railway Board members and general managers of zones, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asked officials to take proactive steps to raise awareness about the offence and ensure that other passengers do not suffer because of wrongdoings of a few people.

Wanting to remain anonymous as the probe into the fire incident is underway, the official who was part of the meeting said that the department is considering hiking fine substantially and will also bring provisions of arrest for harming public property.

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