Have you wasted a lot of time while buying a train ticket at your favourite holiday destination – Khandala? If yes, the Central Railway has a plan to make things better for you. It will rope in people living in the vicinity of Khandala who will be employed to issue tickets. This plan will also be implemented at 10 other stations on the same line.
These 11 stations include the small-town destinations where passenger footfalls and number of trains halting have seen an upward movement. Like, Khandala, Pen, Taloja, Kalamboli, Nagothane, Nilje, Kaman Road, Kharbhav, Apta, Jite and Somatma.
On the railway’s benchmark list, these stations fall under the ‘E’ category. Overall, stations are classified into six categories – ‘A’ to ‘F’. At stations like Khandala, the stationmaster has to take care of ticket sales besides train operations and management tasks which include signalling and traffic management. With the burgeoning population, the number of passengers and trains at category E stations has been rising rapidly, giving the stationmaster a quite a handful to manage.
So, with local hands being roped in to help out on a part-time basis, it will take the load off the stationmaster. The chosen candidate will get a certain percentage of the ticketing revenue.
Often, stationmasters used to shut down ticket counters about 15 minutes before a train leaves the station in order to attend to traffic management tasks which become the priority. Chief public relations officer of CR Atul Rane, said applications will be invited from people living in the vicinity.
“We will provide infrastructure. All that they have to do is issue tickets to passengers,” said Rane.
The people employed for such ad hoc projects will be designated as ‘Station Ticket Booking Sevaks’.