Eastern Railway will install Point of Selling machine (POS) to facilitate people buying railway tickets from debit or credit cards on all the stations having reservation counters — from Bhagalpur to Indo-Bangladesh border — by 15 January, Eastern Railway’s financial advisor and chief accounts officer Dipankar Lahiri said on Tuesday.
Eastern Railway, in collaboration with State Bank of India (SBI), will install 815 POS machines. In December, charges will not be levied for buying railway tickets from debit or credit cards. However, from January 1, 2017, a charge of 0.75% on the price of the ticket will be charged on debit cards while a person using credit cards will have to pay 1.75% on the price of the tickets.
The Eastern Railway has already installed 10 POS machines, four in Howrah and Sealdah stations each. In the ticket counters from where unreserved tickets are sold, POS machines will be installed in near future. The Eastern Railway will give Rs 3.74 lakh to SBI for installing the machines. Senior Railway officials said that slowly the entire railway ticket booking system will be made digitised. This will put an end to the raj of the touts.
Partha Pratim Sengupta, chief general manager of SBI who was present at the press conference said there was adequate supply of Rs 500 notes in the ATM counters. Admitting to the ordeal of people, he said the situation was on the process of being eased out. More stress was given to ensure that people in the rural areas could withdraw Rs 24,000 per week.
However, despite Sengupta’s claims, the real picture is of stark contrast. The people in the rural areas are facing real problem as the banks are unable to give them the money they want to withdraw. In some areas of East Midnapore, people had to wait for four to five hours to get Rs 2000.