His occupation ensures that MM Shinde is not going to score any brownie points with train commuters. But, the 44-year-old is certainly regarded highly by his colleagues at Central Railway (CR). That’s because his record speaks for itself.
Sources say that this is perhaps the first time in the history of Indian Railways that a train ticket examiner (TTE) has collected Rs 1.01 crore in penalties within 11 months (till November). Shinde says he expects to exceed the figure by some margin till the end of this calendar year. The next best stack by a colleague is about Rs 50 lakh.
A resident of Nashik, Shinde mostly works in CR’s Mumbai division. “For years now I have not celebrated Diwali or summer vacations with my family members back home. But they know that this is what my job demands,” said the head TTE, who is part of the chief commercial manager’s special squad. And this is what he has repented most over his 16 years of service in railways. Shinde has no jurisdictional boundaries, and can carry out inspections anywhere in CR’s different divisions. In the past 11 months, he has fined over 17,200 people to cross the Rs 1-crore mark.
“Over the years, I have realised that people generally travel without tickets during festive and vacation seasons,” added Shinde. His favourite routes - where he expects to find ticketless travellers - are on trains going to Bhusawal, Manmad, Chalisgaon, Patna and Varanasi. Shinde reached the pinnacle of his performance in May this year, when he issued fines in 5,338 cases, fetching Rs 31.45 lakh. His next best returns are from November and April - Rs 18.7 lakh and 15.2 lakh respectively.
His daily stint usually lasts 10 hours, but it stretches to 14 hours during vacation seasons. Shinde typically prowls late-night trains on long-distance routes. But, he also steps aboard local trains at times. He is passionate about his work and tries to do his best every day, he says. He accepts that things do get sticky when asking for a fine from certain wayward commuters, but thankfully, he never has had a serious squabble with anyone all these years.
RD Sharma, chief commercial manager of CR, said, “We want this to be an example for other TTEs and we want this to encourage them to improve their performance.” “This is by far the highest amount to have been collected till now,” said Atul Rane, chief public relations officer, CR.
Top three months for Shinde this year:
May: Rs 31.45 lakh
November: Rs 18.7 lakh
April: Rs 15.2 lakh