CHENNAI: When S G Mohanan, a senior citizen walked into the Chennai Central Railway Station to check the status of his ticket at the enquiry booth, he was in for a surprise.
For, he was told by the official there that he could pay the excess fare at counters specially set up for the purpose at the railway station itself (the railway fare hike came into effect on Wednesday).
“I was not aware of this arrangement. I thought the excess fare would be collected on the train by the Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE),” said the beaming retired government employee. ‘
Like him, many other passengers visiting the Central and Egmore railway stations every day are unaware of counters set up by the Southern Railway to collect the excess fare.
The Central Railway Station has two counters, while Egmore has one. Officials at the counters said that only 50-odd people made use of the facility till 2 pm on Wednesday.
“Passengers boarding trains at the starting point would find this facility convenient,” an official said.
A senior TTE in Chennai division said, “Either there should be frequent announcements at the station or a prominent display on boards informing people about these counters. There are passengers who don’t even know about the fare hike.”
The excess fares were mentioned against the respective passenger name on charts pasted on the compartments.
B Parija, travelling to Bengaluru on the Bangalore Express, said that communication from the railways should be better.
“For short journeys, the hike would be less than `100. But for long journeys, the difference in fare would be much higher. Not everyone will be having excess cash,” he added.