#OnlyInIndia: Travelling with unreserved tickets? You should be wary of Southern Railway's cultural squad

A small yet great initiative though

Southern Railways has come up with an interesting solution to crack down on passengers travelling with unreserved tickets in reserved compartments. According to a report published by The Times of India, the commercial department of Chennai division has come up with a special cultural squad of Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTE), who would check tickets of passengers with unreserved tickets.

Here’s what you should know about the special ‘cultural’ squad: 

  • The cultural squad will identify the passengers travelling with unreserved tickets and escort them from the reserved compartments back to their coaches or unreserved compartments.
  • If the unreserved compartments are full, they will be asked to board subsequent trains.
  • The TTEs of this cultural squad are not authorised to impose a penalty on passengers for travelling in reserved compartments.

Indian Railways

In the past, several passengers have complained on Twitter and Facebook that they are unable to use toilets in sleeper class or third AC compartments as many people are found sitting in the pathway or near the toilets, blocking free movement.

While talking to the daily, a senior TTE deputed at Chennai Central, said,

This is a common problem seen in trains like Howrah Mail and Coromandel Express and other trains to northeastern states. The unreserved compartments are filled to the brim and there is no space to even move an inch. Since migrant labourers are desperate to return to their hometowns, they enter the reserved coaches.

A senior official while explaining the meaning of the term culture explained,

We want to change this culture of unreserved passengers occupying reserved compartments and the work culture of the squad as well.

Railway Station

Despite announcing a few unreserved special trains, the Southern Railways has not able to meet the demand of passengers who are mostly migrant workers from West Bengal, Assam and Odisha to Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

In a shocking data, from April to October this year, Southern Railway has nabbed 6.6 lakh passengers travelling without tickets or with improper tickets.

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