Shatabdi trains to no longer have TTE women

ByRochelle W. Stone

May 1, 2018
A year later, WR redeploys female staff because they find the train operating hours too long, too busy.

Almost a year after Western Railway shattered the glass ceiling and deployed female travel ticket examiners (TTEs) on premium long-distance trains such as Shatabdi, the initiative appears to have run into trouble. The WR administration faces stiff opposition from the female ticket checkers themselves, who find their working hours too long and the work too busy.

From Tuesday, the TTE women will be recalled and redeployed. Instead of checking the tickets in the premium Bombay Central Ahmedabad-Shatabdi Express, the staff will move in Swaraj Express. WR officials believe the move will help female staff as their shifts will be reduced to 10 hours. The first group of two women was deployed in March 2017, in Long distance express. The deployment of these two staff has enabled WR to increase its income (in terms of fines for travel without tickets) to Rs 50,000 against Rs 30,000 per month. Subsequently, female staff were also deployed to Shatabdi Express. However, this train leaves Bombay Center at 06:25, arrives in Ahmedabad at 12:40. It leaves for Mumbai at 2:30 p.m. and reaches Mumbai at 9:50 p.m. This extends staff working hours from 6:25 a.m. to 9:50 p.m.

A senior WR official said: “The staff considered this 4 hour shift to be very hectic and we were constantly getting complaints about it. As a result, they are now deployed on Swaraj Express, which leaves Mumbai at 8 p.m. and returns at 6 p.m., reducing their working hours to 10 a.m.

The deployment of TTE women came after widespread reports of malfeasance by male staff. However, the deployment of female staff in Intercity Express had to be halted halfway due to safety concerns, with ticketless passengers often refusing to pay fines and arguing with them.

Therefore, they were transferred to Shatabdi Express, which was a high-end train with generally disciplined commuters. WR Division Senior Business Manager Aarti Singh said, “I think we’ll have to wait another decade to see that all women have the confidence to do the work men do on a regular basis.”

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