Pune: Despite the announcement by Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal that Railways will accept payments made through the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app, a mobile application development by the National Payments Corporation of India, the Pune Railway Division is apparently promoting Paytm instead.
This is visible from signboards near the ticket counters, including the general ticket counters, inside the Pune station building. It is apparent that the BHIM application, which is a dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been completely ignored by Pune division as there is no signboard or banner about accepting payments from BHIM app.
Milind Deouskar, Pune Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), said they are accepting payments through BHIM app, but when asked why there are no banners or signboards, he could not give any reply.
A highly placed source from the division said, “On November 30, Goyal announced that Railways will accept payments through BHIM app and it will promote it among passengers. Despite this, Pune division officials were seen promoting Paytm.”
According to the Ministry of Railways’ press release issued on November 30, “This facility will be available for booking of reserved tickets from Passenger Reservation System (PRS) counters and booking of Season Tickets (MST and QST) from Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) counters.”
It added, “No additional charges will be levied from passengers making payments using UPI/BHIM for a period of three months.”
Meanwhile, Harsha Shah, President of Railway Pravasi Group, said, “BHIM app is not from a private company, it’s a Central government app. Conversely, Paytm is an app by a private company and they have paid a big amount for advertising in Pune division.”
Manoj Kumar Jhawar, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Pune division, said, “We are accepting payment through UPI and BHIM. We will put a signboard and banner about BHIM app soon.”
Reservation charts to be phased out
The Ministry of Railways has directed Zonal Railways to discontinue pasting of reservation charts on reserved coaches of all trains at all erstwhile A1, A & B category stations as a pilot project for six months starting from March 1. Physical/ digital charts will continue to be displayed at platforms. At those stations where electronic charts or plasma display screens have been installed and are functioning properly, physical reservation charts can be stopped.