Thiruvananthapuram: Ticketless travel continued on trains even while the Railways conducted fully reserved services considering the COVID-19 situation.
As per data, the Southern Railway registered 7.12 lakh cases from April to October 12 this year related to ticketless travel and other violations of rules, collecting a whopping Rs 35.47 crore as fines.
During this period, an amount of Rs 1.62 crore was collected as penalty from 32,624 people for not wearing a mask. The fine imposed on people not wearing a mask at the railway station or on trains is Rs 500.
Other offences detected by Railway officials include not carrying proper tickets and travelling without booking excess luggage.
Among the divisions under Southern Railway, it was in Chennai that the highest amount was collected as fine, Rs 12.78 crore. In the second place was Thiruvananthapuram division with Rs 6.05 crore.
Meanwhile, Palakkad division earned Rs 6.05 crore in this regard and the contributions of Madurai, Salem and Thiruchirappalli divisions were Rs 4.16 crore, Rs 4.15 crore and Rs 2.81 crore respectively.
Over the last six months, the maximum fine collection took place on October 12. The amount earned by the Railway on this day was Rs 37 lakh.
In view of the pandemic, the Railways had ceased the services of unreserved trains. However, some of these services were resumed in June this year. According to the authorities, the offences were detected after checking was intensified. Moreover, the rise in number of thefts in trains compelled the authorities to take action.
Another tendency noticed recently involves passengers boarding reserved coaches without booking and expressing their willingness to pay fines when ticket examiners arrive.