Pune: The railway platforms at Pune junction are always occupied by general coach passengers as they arrive at the station around 8-9 hours before the train’s departure. Mainly relatives and friends of passengers with valid platform tickets make this crowd large and unmanageable.
Three years ago, the Pune Railway Protection Force (RPF) Divisional Commissioner D Vikas started the system of giving a token to unreserved ticket passengers on a first-come-first-serve basis. This system is now being adopted by the Ministry of Railways for implementation across the country.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal was impressed with the system and has now instructed all the zonal chiefs to start the system to manage the crowd in general coaches.
“Pune Junction witnesses long queues for trains going to Patna, Kolkata, Gorakhpur, etc. The passengers generally sit on the platform with RPF and Government Railway Police (GRP) officials monitoring queues. It also becomes difficult for us to manage and control the crowd. This system helps us a lot,” said D Vikas, Divisional Security Commissioner of Pune Railway division.
He said, “Many unreserved passengers suffer a lot due to these unruly queues of people travelling to their villages in other states.”
Recently, this system has been adopted by Western Railway and in coming days, it will be implemented in all major stations. The new system has been started at Mumbai Central and Bandra Terminus station.
A senior officer from the Central Railway said, ‘The aim of the project is to prevent stampede like situations at platforms at the time of boarding trains with general coaches.”
What is the token system?
- For example, a passenger travelling by Pune-Patna Superfast Express, that departs at 2055 hours, should first take a general ticket from the general ticket window at Pune station.
- That passenger should next report to the token booth on platform no. 1 (Mumbai side) at least four hours before the departure time.
- At the token booth, manned by RPF, the passenger’s ticket will be checked, and he will be issued a token number.
- This token number is that passenger’s seat number in the general coach.
- On getting the token, the passenger has to report at the platform from where his train will depart. There, he will stand in the queue, which is managed by the RPF and GRP, according to his token number.
- If any person does not have a token number, he is not allowed to stand in the queue.
- The number of tokens issued is equal to the number of seats in general coaches available.
- The system at token booth is computerised. Service is given on a first-come-first-serve basis.