KOZHIKODE: As the Indian railway made losses last financial year, forcing a recruitment freeze, ticket examiners say the staff shortage only contributes to revenue losses. It puts a massive workload on them.
According to Indian Railway Ticket Checking Examiners Association secretary Dr Hemant Soni, there are 46,372 posts of which 14,174 are vacant.
"As the shortage is more than 30 per cent, there are various problems. Most of the sleeper coaches and some AC 3 Tier coaches remain unmanned," he said.
"The passengers do not have an option to report their problems, including unauthorised passengers. It leads to theft and many other issues. The burden of unmanned coach falls on the staff of other coaches who gets overburdened."
A railway official at the Kozhikode division said the passenger -TTE ratio is not manageable now and on passenger trains, there is no proper checking, and platform tickets remain only on paper.
"Its policy is minimum labour and maximum profit like any private firm," said Dr Shenoy Jesinth, assistant professor in history at Malabar Christian College, who developed southern rail calendar in 2017.
"Each TTE shoulders the duty of four or five compartments and their accommodation facility is miserable."
A TTE under the Palakkad division who preferred anonymity said 50 to 100-seater sleeper class coaches accommodates around 400 people during day time through a system only available in Kerala.
"Anyone can book a ticket for a journey within 200 km half an hour before," he said.
"Though trains elsewhere are palaces on wheels with AC restrooms, catering facility for running staff including drivers and guards, we are deprived of the."...