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TTE: Buy me a cold drink if you can't pay the fine

Aug 19, 2012

Yesterday I went to see off my friend at Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station.

Due to rush at the ticket window I entered the platform without platform ticket and after departure when I was on my way back a TTE in plain cloth asked for the ticket on the overbridge.

I was helpless and I made the excuse that platform tickets are not sold here but i was wrong and he asked me to pay the fine of Rs 250.

I thought its too much and asked him to excuse me ones promising never to repeat such mistakes in the future. I also made him aware that I am a student and on fasting too, I can't manage so much as I have not that much money.

But he was in no mood to set me free. Meanwhile he caught three more guys all around 25 to 27 years of age. Everyone had some or the other excuse like "I had no idea that one need platform ticket to see off someone" and "I was in a hurry as train was departing. I even couldn't deliver the gift box to my friend".

As I said earlier he was in no mood to set us free. He said that he was on extra duty, standing there in sunlight and facing the heat and had to makeup his chalan also.

After a lot of argument he made an offer that he would cut two chalans for four of us and so one needs to pay only Rs125 instead of Rs250. We thought Rs125 is also too much and again started arguing.

One of the guy who seemed a bit rough or arrogant to me by the way he was talking to TTE called someone and then handed his phone to TTE saying its my elder brother from Rail Bhawan. TTE was also very clever and he told the guy on the phone that he is taking us to the station cell and he should call there to make his brother free and disconnected the line.

TTE turned to us and said lets go to the office, they will charge you in thousands keep you in jail produce you to magistrate then only you will understand.

We again started arguing, saying sorry, begging him to excuse us and we will buy platform tickets right then and won't cause any loss to the government. TTE replied what I will do with the tickets, come I will buy tickets for you all.

We went hopeless and started duscussing that he is not going to leave us. And a guy said "I can't bear him anymore and I will throw him out of the bridge".

Suddenly TTE interrupted and made another offer that he will cut only one chalan for the four of us and then we will have to pay only Rs62.5 each.

All of a sudden we started laughing and requested him to excuse us. He became angry and started shouting "Who do you think I am? Do i look like a fool to you? Standing here in the heat arguing with you guys".
We requested him to cool down and a guy offered him water.

TTE started smiling and after drinking asked "kya chahte ho yar, kyu pareshan kar rahe ho kuch karo na itni garmi hai thanda wanda pilao" ("why are you guys spoiling ma mood what do you want me to do, its so hot here do something bring cold drink for me").

We all started laughing and said all at once "why not sir". A guy went downstairs on the platform and brought a coke and offered him.

He asked us to have some, I refused as I was fasting but other guys had a sip and he asked us to leave and then a guy asked him that we are going to buy platform ticket on which TTE smiled and said there's no need
and we said a big thanks to him and left the place smiling.

I was also caught two more times in the past but both the times I used overbridge only to cross the station one at Nizamuddin and the other at Old Delhi. At Nizamuddin they let me go but at Old Delhi I had to bribe Rs100 to TTE.

These incidents raised some questions in my mind:
1. Why is there a need of zPlatform Ticket?
2. Why don't railway provide adequate TTEs in trains only?
3. Why is there checking on the overbridge when so many people use it to cross the station?
4. Why does railway spend so much money on TTEs when most of them accept bribe instead of challan?
5. Why can't the challan money be much lesser so that people pay challan instead of bribing TTE?
5. Why isn't there adequate or proper working automated machines for platform tickets?
6. Who is causing loss to the railways? TTE or the ticketless people.
7. Why isn't there any overbridge where we have station on both sides?

 All I can say is there's none who is honest neither we nor the TTE. We don't buy platform tickets mostly because of ignorance and the hazards we face in buying platform tickets. And when we get caught we pay bribe just because we need to pay less than the challan and hence are in a lesser loss.

But in all the cases its the railways who are in loss and its not only us but the TTE and even the railways are responsible for this loss. Most of the time they don't sell platform tickets sighting crowd issues at the platform and this gives us excuse.

Even many people buy nearest station tickets to go on platform to see off or receive someone but sometimes due to rush or the lack of time when we don't have it then TTEs never gonna say that why don't you buy tickets or anything but they are only interested in their share of bribes and the example is the above story when we asked TTE can we buy platform tickets he said there's no need.

I have seen many people who if in a hurry or for some other reason couldn't buy tickets they buy it later and then tear it off so as not to cause loss to the government or because of their nature of righteousness. I can say humanity is above all.

First of all we should never travel or visit the platform without tickets and if somehow we can't manage it and get caught then we should pay the fine not the bribe. No TTE is going to ask us to pay the bribe until and unless we refuse to pay the fine.

Indian Railways must find out some mechanism to solve this problem.

Problems:
  • long queues at ticket window
  • no separate queues for platform ticket
  • no automated machines
  • no separate overbridge
  • heavy fines
Solutions or Suggestions:
  • separate windows for platform ticket
  • more and more automated machines to minimise the long queue and waiting problem
  • Minimise the fine so that one would prefer fine rather than paying bribe
  • Separate overbridge to cross the station
  • moral science teaching to TTEs