Mangaluru: Do you know that Mangaluru Central Railway Station has got a new toy- it’s called the Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM), which is installed near the unreserved ticket purchase counters. This machine comes in handy for those who don’t want to stay in the long queues to purchase their last minute unreserved tickets-just by flashing a smart card in front of ATVM and within couple of minutes you have your ticket in your hand. Great- and just yesterday I used this facility to buy my train ticket to travel to Calicut, since I had not made a reservation. “Quick and convenient”, all I can say about this ATVM.
This ATVM, a gift from Southern Railway Department to its customers can dispense unreserved, platform and season railway tickets in few minutes, rather than wait in the queue and go through all the hassles. But to use this facility, you have to buy a smart card with a face value of Rs.100 at the ticket counter, of which Rs. 50 is a refundable security deposit, and the remaining could be used towards purchase of tickets.You can load the smart card up to the value of Rs. 5,000; but the balance amount expires after six months from the date the amount was loaded into the card. The facility is very convenient for frequent train travellers.
Another benefit of this ATVM is that, travellers going up to a distance of 150 km would get 5 per cent bonus for the value of the ticket purchased-the bonus amount gets credited to the passenger’s smart card. This facility is not available for concessional tickets. At present a volunteer assigned by the Railway department is helping customers as to how to use this ATVM, till they are familiar with the system. Presently he takes the ticket fare from passengers and gives them the tickets, using his smart card. Cash transaction facility is not available on the ATVMs.
According to railway officials over 13,000 people buy unreserved tickets to travel from Mangaluru Central Railway Station to other destinations, and they are encouraging people to use the ATVMs for fast and convenient service. Apart from the newly installed ATVMs, there are four counters were unreserved, platform and season railway tickets are being sold, plus there are three other ticket counters elsewhere in the city.
Sources also reveal that if you are not satisfied with the ATVM facility,you can get refund of the security deposit as well as the balance amount, less Rs 10 clerkage charge, on surrendering the smart card.