Pune: The Pune railway division had installed four cash/smart card operated ticket vending machines (CoTVM) at Pune railway station. The machines have not been in use for over a year, as the machine required the exact amount of fare.
The purpose of installation of the machines was to improve commuter amenities and that they can purchase tickets without waiting in long queues at ticket counters. Tickets can be obtained from the unmanned machines by inserting the exact amount of fare (coins or notes). Passengers are not using these machines as it takes too much time and requires exact fare. Passengers need to keep change with them.
The machine was installed in December 2015. A total of eight machines have been procured. Miraj and Kolhapur stations will get two machines each. According to an official, each machine costs Rs 5 lakh. A senior railway official said, “When the machine was installed, we thought that commuters can utilise the facilities. Most of the time when they are caught without tickets, they often cite long queues at ticket windows as an excuse. The machine is not in use for the past year because passengers they do not have the exact amount of fare.”
More than 75,000 people use the suburban train service between Daund, Pune and Lonavla every day, and a considerable number of passengers travel by north-bound trains from the city towards Patna, Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Darbhanga. These two categories of passengers could make the most of the CoTV machines and can avoid standing
Manoj Jhawar, the spokesperson of Pune railway division, said, “The ticket vending facility, called CoTVM, is part of the railways’ plan to improve commuter amenities. If any commuter inserts more than the fare amount, the machine cannot refund the rest. We have therefore appointed an individual near the machine who will give change to the commuters. We have also put a board of fares for different destinations.”