Rly ticket vend­ing ma­chines to re­turn

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Kailash Korde

MUM­BAI: Coin-op­er­ated ticket vend­ing ma­chines( COTVM) — which were launched by rail­way minister Suresh Prabhu last year and shut for over two months af­ter they were hit by charges of fraud and tech­ni­cal bugs — are set to be op­er­a­tional within a week. The IT back­bone of the In­dian Rail­ways — Cen­tre for Rail­way In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems (CRIS) — suc­ceeded in re­mov­ing bugs and re­boot­ing these kiosks af­ter 74 days.

They are likely to bring re­lief to more than 75 lakh sub­ur­ban and out­sta­tion train com­muters, who end up spend­ing a long time at ticket win­dows. Even if some com­muters shift back to these touch screen-based ma­chines, it will ease queues at ticket win­dows. “Three ma­chines were started at CST for test­ing pur Bob­hate, gen­eral man­ager of CRIS, said they have up­dated the COTVM’S soft­ware. “Within a week, the COVTMS should be func­tional,”said Bob­hate.

In­stalled at ma­jor sta­tions such as CST, Dadar, Kalyan, Vi­rar and Borivli, there are 180 COTVMS. Of these, 110 are on CR, while the re­main­ing are on WR. How­ever, a CR of­fi­cial said that less than 5%com­muters use COTVMS to buy their tickets.

COVTMS al­low com­muters to buy tickets us­ing cash, coins, and smart cards. Along with book­ing un­re­served cards and sea­son tickets, one can buy plat­form tickets and recharge smart cards us­ing these ma­chines.

The ma­chines ac­cept coins of Rs5 and Rs10, and cur­rency notes of Rs5 to Rs1,000. Pas­sen­gers can pur­chase four un­re­served tickets at a time, while just one sea­son ticket and plat­form ticket could be booked at a MUM­BAI: At­tacks on po­lice­men or govern­ment em­ploy­ees will at­tract a harsher pun­ish­ment as the govern­ment has de­cided to amend the ex­ist­ing laws.

Chief minister Deven­dra Fad navis as­sured em­ploy­ees that the penalty will be in­creased to five years im­pris­on­ment as against the cur­rent pro­vi­sion of two years. Re­spond­ing to a de­mand made by the Ma­ha­rash tra State Gazetted Of­fi­cers’ Fed er­a­tion, Fad­navis said sec­tion 353 and 332 of the In­dian Pe­nal code would be amended to en­sure harsher pun­ish­ment.

He also as­sured govern­ment em­ploy­ees that a five-day week would be im­ple­mented and the re­tire­ment age would be fixed at 60, on the lines of the cen­tra govern­ment. He spoke posi tively about child­care leave for

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