If things go according to the plans of the Western Railway (WR), standing in a long queue outside a railway counter to buy tickets will be a thing of the past.
The WR is planning to appoint special agents—Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks (JSTBS)—to sell local train tickets and renew passes by paying only a rupee more at market places. If this plan works out, one can buy tickets from a cyber cafe, a grocery shop and even a paan shop.
“It is part of our attempts to reduce the queues during peak hours. The JSTBS will work in two shifts. We expect the services to start in August,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief spokesperson of the WR.
He said, “We have invited applications for authorising 243 Jan Sadharan Ticket Booking Sewaks in areas nearby 37 stations of the Mumbai Division. Of these 37 stations, 31 stations are between Churchgate and Dahanu Road. Other stations are Vapi, Billimoria, Valsad, Navsari, Udhna and Surat.
Areas near Andheri station-which witnesses at least 2.66 lakh commuters everyday-will get the maximum number of 22 JTBS. It will be followed by 20 at Borivli, while 12 each will be authorised in areas close to Dadar, Bandra, Goregaon and Kandivli stations and 10 each near Santa Cruz and Bhyander.
JSTBS will issue computerised tickets. The premises, which will be used for issuing the tickets, should have easy accessibility. The applicant should be a local resident of the area and the cost of JSTBS terminals, ticket printers will be as per WR specifications.