A conservative estimate put the shortage of TTEs in Chennai Division alone at 200. Of the 1,150 plus commercial staff in the division working directly with people, only 456 TTEs are on train duty, a senior TTE requesting anonymity told DTNext. The squad strength should be at least 15 per cent of the total strength – about 160 officials. But the division has only less than 50 members on squad duty.
“If squads were on train duty regularly, such season pass holders would avoid unauthorised travel. How can enforcement be bettered by squads if they only have a third of the strength? The duty of squad members is not only penalising people but also educating them to avoid unauthorised travel,” a senior TTE said.
“The division should have around 600 TTEs on train duty. At least 40 more would retire in the next couple of years. The management has only been surrendering posts and not increasing them to meet the growing demand,” a senior TTE on BG-III line said on condition of anonymity.
“From two coaches, each TTE is now being made to man up to five. The physical and mental pressure on them increases proportionately. How would a TTE deliver optimum performance if they are burdened? Bureaucrats in Railway Board would not understand the practical difficulties,” he said.