New Delhi, Jul 28 (PTI) The number of ticketless travellers on trains has increased by 22 per cent in the last three years with passengers on Northern Railways being the worst offenders, the government told Parliament today.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain said while in 2014-2015 there were 1.66 crore passengers who travelled without tickets or with improper tickets on trains, the number rose to 2.03 crore in 2016-2017.

Gohain said the Railways had recovered around Rs 25.53 crore in penalties during 2016-2017 from ticketless travellers.

Till June, 2017, there were 68.25 lakh travellers without tickets or carrying wrong tickets, while the recovery from penalties during that period was around Rs 3.32 crore.

“For conducting regular and surprise checks against ticketless travellers which are intensified during peak rush periods, intensive check posts have been set up at important stations and instructions have been issued for ensuring effective manning of all designated and functional gates at stations,” said Gohain, listing some of the measures taken by the government to dissuade people from travelling without tickets.

Most such offenders were travellers on the Northern Railways with almost 71 lakh passengers travelling without tickets during 2014-2017, followed by travellers on South Central Railways where 70 lakh travelled ticketless, he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.