No new coins if you want platform tickets

The vending machine dispensing platform tickets at the city railway station is slowly falling into disuse, since it accepts only old coins.

The manual ticket counter is functional again at the city railway station, as the e-ticket machines for platform tickets take in only old-five rupee coins, which are not being minted anymore. Passengers have started depending more on the manual ticket counters as majority of them have only new-five rupee coins.

This has led to a drastic drop in the printing of tickets by the machines to one or maximum two tickets a week.

Pic:author

Hariharan Narayanan, who had come to drop his wife at the railway station said: "The city railway station has e-kiosk to dispense platform tickets. It accepts only old-five rupee coins. What is the use of such a machine?"

People often do not have change, especially when there is a constraint that only old-five rupee coins are accepted. With manual dispensing of platform tickets, congestion is back.

The machines were upgraded last after the budget session of 2012, much after the new-five rupee coins were introduced. C Narendra, Publicity Inspector of Railways, Bangalore says, "The machine is customized in such a way that it accepts only the size of old five rupee coins. The new five rupee coins are smaller and thinner and this is not acceptable by the e-kiosk machines". He said they are aware of the problem and are trying their best to fix it soon.

The machines were first introduced in 2007, when the cost of the platform tickets was Rs 3 per ticket. Post the budget session 2012, the machines were updated as the cost of the tickets was increased to Rs 5 per ticket. At that time, the machines were programmed to accept old-five rupee coins, which is not being minted anymore by the RBI.

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