Indian Railways’ earnings from platform tickets declined by around 94% for the FY 2020-21 as compared to the previous year. The low earning from platform tickets is due to restrictions imposed on entry into railway stations because of the COVID-19 crisis, revealed an RTI.
In a reply to a RTI query from Madhya Pradesh-based Chandra Shekhar Gaur, the railways said it earned Rs 10 crore till February in 2020-21 through sale of platform tickets.
In 2019-2020, the railways netted Rs 160.87 crore which was the highest-earning from platform tickets for the national transporter in the last five years, the RTI has found. The railways took the step to restrict overcrowding at railway stations even before the nationwide lockdown was announced by the government in March 2020.
Several railway zones completely denied entry and allowed only valid ticket holders entrance for most of the year. Later, a decision was also taken to increase the prices of platform tickets from Rs 10 to Rs 30 and even Rs 50 in certain zones in an effort to dissuade people from entering stations. However, the national transporter maintained that the rise in ticket prices was temporary and a measure to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the report, revenue from the sale of platform tickets has lingered around the Rs 131 crore mark except for the year 2018-2019 when it shot up to an amount of Rs 139.20 crore. In fiscal 2019-20, it touched the mark of Rs 160 crore but dipped severely to Rs 10 crore in 2020-21 until the month of February this year.
With the easing of Covid-19 restrictions, the Northern Railways on June 12 announced that they have decided to restart the sale of platform tickets at eight major railway stations in the Delhi Division. To prevent unnecessary crowding at stations, the platform ticket prices have been enhanced to Rs 30 per ticket, it said.