A railway ticket checker caught 22,680 passengers travelling without tickets in 2019 and collected a whopping Rs 1.51 crore fine from them, an official said on Thursday.
Travelling Ticket Inspector SB Galande, part of the Central Railway (CR) Flying Squad, has become the highest individual revenue earner for CR last year, the official said.
Three other TCs of the Central Railway also collected over Rs 1 crore each in fines from commuters travelling without tickets in 2019, the official said.
They include MM Shinde and D Kumar, also from the same squad and Ravi Kumar G, chief ticket inspector of Mumbai division. While Mr Galande, Mr Shinde and D Kumar collected the fine on long distance trains, Ravi Kumar G did the same from commuters on Mumbai suburban network, the official said.
Travelling Ticket Inspectors are authorised to collect fines from passengers travelling without tickets on both local and long-distance trains, he said.
Mr Shinde collected Rs 1.07 crore from 16,035 commuters, D Kumar Rs 1.02 crore from 15,234 commuters, and Ravi Kumar collected Rs 1.45 crore from 20,657 travellers.
"We felicitated them with cash reward and certificate from our general manager for their contribution," said Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of Central Railway.
In 2019, Central Railway earned Rs 192.51 crore from 37.64 lakh cases of "ticketless and irregular" travel against Rs 168.30 crore from 34.09 lakh cases in 2018, he said.
Despite regular drives against travelling without tickets, the number of such cases are increasing every year, another CR official said.
"Compared to the previous year, the earnings in 2019 increase by 14.39 per cent and cases of ticketless travel rose by 10.41 per cent," he said.