LAHORE - The Railways management has failed to reduce the trend of ticketless travelling in trains which is causing the public utility millions of rupees losses per year, sources have told The Nation.

Quoting data of the passengers who were found travelling without tickets in different sections, sources said the numbers of travellers remained high in last two months (July and August) as compared to the same period of last year.

According to some estimates, every month, more than 200,000 passengers make their journeys without tickets at different trains and only half of them get caught.

Senior officials believe ticketless travelling is possible only with connivance of the Railways staff.

The Railways Police and other staff facilitate passengers to travel without tickets, sources say. “The railways staff collect the fare from the passengers only to put it into their own pockets; hence causing a loss of millions to the national exchequer.

“Even though the current management made good efforts and nabbed thousands of passengers travelling without tickets, more efforts are required.

“The trend should also be discouraged and they should refuse to take such facility if any employee of the Railways offers them ticketless travel,” the sources added.

According to the data, around 117,000 passengers were fined in July and 99,000 in August while travelling without tickets in different trains. The figures show the numbers of passengers, who were fined, were 18,000 high in July and 15,000 in August as compared to the same period during past years.

More than Rs160 million were collected in terms of fine from the passengers and were deposited in Railways funds in the two months.

According to the statistics, the ticketless travelling was high in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Karachi divisions as compared to other sections of the PR.

The Railways had announced to introduce e-ticketing system from June this year claiming it will bring revolution in PR history, discourage ticketless journey and enhance the utility’s revenue. But the system could not be introduced despite passing three months of given dateline.

It is not the first time that the Railways Ministry has planned for e-ticketing; such an announcement was also made in 2008 but at that time too it could not be materialised.

“The work on the project has almost completed but could not be operational for unknown reason. Once the system is introduces, the passengers would purchase tickets from Railways Centres across the country,” sources say.