The idea was mooted during a recent meeting of TTEs with the chief commercial managers of SR. A senior official said the proposal came from a few TTEs, which was received well by the CCM. The head of commercial department of the zone was understood to have given her instant approval to the plan. In fact, the commercial department had planned to try 100 bodycams on a pilot basis in Chennai division alone.
“The idea was to keep a tab on corruption and discipline the TTEs who connect directly with the travelling public more than any other railway staff. Observation has also shown that ticket examiners were also prone to abuse and intimidations by some travellers. Gadgets like bodycams would help keep a check on both,” said a senior SR officer requesting anonymity.
“Travellers approaching TTEs without confirmed tickets and examiners asking them to wait for their turn could be easily monitored. TTE cannot give assurance on seat allocation to unauthorised passengers. Even a TTE making such a suggestion could be penalised as allowing an unauthorised traveller to stay aboard a reserved coach is illegal,” a commercial department officer explained.
A highly placed commercial department, who confirmed the proposal after a recent meeting of CCM’s and TTEs, said the idea had come from the staff and the officers had accepted it.
However, it was in the cold storage following opposition from the TTEs belonging to a union. The TTEs were understood to have argued that fixing bodycam would affect the privacy of passengers, mainly women in long distance trains. TTEs had also opposed the idea of officers keeping a vigil on the staff going on field. When contacted, one of the chief commercial managers of Southern Railway admitted that the idea was considered, but said, “There is no progress on it now.”