KOCHI: At a time when Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is looking to actively revive itself from the setbacks brought in by the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, the agency’s ‘Kochi 1 card’ has been giving travellers a hard time. While commuters are looking for easier ways to recharge their cards, the officials demand they must renew Know Your Customer (KYC) details every year through the e-KYC platform.
“I have been regularly travelling in the metro since 2018. Since then, I have used the Kochi 1 card and am often irritated by the back-to-back KYC requests for the card. As e-KYC is not fully online, I had to get it done at a metro station far away from my home. If officials are serious about attracting more commuters into the metro, they have to start from addressing these basic issues,” said Sreelakshmi B, a resident of Muttom.
Except for the seasonal discounts for women and children, the card provided with the support of Axis Bank is still priced at Rs 150 and can be availed from stations by entering details like mobile number and date of birth. Though the card crossed one lakh users in March, many complain that they have to spend more time on stations for KYC than their regular travel.
“It’s frustrating that you have to find a time from your hectic life to complete the KYC manually every year. In this digital age, we have to bring passport size photos, xerox of Aadhaar cards and physical application forms,” said Sanoj V, another commuter hailing from Aluva.
People are also upset with the laxity they face at banks. “Even if we ensure all required documents, Axis bank officials might be unavailable on some days and so we have to come back the next day. Though we can store up to `1 lakh on a card, the KYC verification is a must for any transaction,” said Dheeraja K, an employee from Pottakuzhy.
‘We are fixing it’
Meanwhile, Metro officials admit that the Kochi 1 card has fetched many complaints from users are they are trying to figure out a solution. “Axis bank is fully responsible for the management of the card. It cites few RBI directives regarding KYC arrangements. We are checking the feasibility of doing away with the annual revewal. We will make a decision soon,” said a KMRL official.