With the Railways tightening rules on issuing Izzat concession tickets to passengers, the Thiruvananthapuram division has witnessed 80 percentage decrease in the number of ticket offenders in the last three months.
According to Railway officials, the concession tickets which were issued under the Izzat scheme were being constantly misused for want of a proper mechanism to regulate it.
However, on April 15, Railways issued an order to strengthen check on the Izzat tickets.
“Following the order, the Railways had carried out checks on concession ticket holders and their financial backgrounds.
It revealed that a major chunk of Izzat users belonged to affluent classes and the business community,” a Railway official said.
Also, the scheme which was specifically meant for employees was found to misused by large number of college students.
According to the new order, the Railways made it mandatory that all Izzat scheme issuers should sign a declaration that they are liable to punishment if their statements are found to be false.
Also, he/she is required to produce a copy of his/her identification proof and a photograph.
When the Railways started making random calls to the users’ employers to find out whether the passengers had submitted true documents, the number of ineligible beneficiaries has come down.
According to a recent study, the ticket misuse in the Thiruvananthapuram division was mainly reported in the Alappuzha section.
“At least 1,500 tickets were issued to passengers from Alappuzha station alone.
But once we made the rules strict the number of users has dropped to 50,” the official added.
A similar decrease has been registered at Cherthala, Thuravoor, Chalakudy and Ernakulam stations.
According to All Kerala Railway Users’ Association president Paul K J Manvattom, the Railways initiative has brought in good results.
“Earlier, we could see many passengers using the Izzat tickets so that they do not have to pay the exact travel fare.
The majority of offenders was rich,” he said