Mumbai: Hike in fine target to Rs 9,000 by Western Railways causes stress for TCs
A Western Railway ticket collector has complained that the fine target was hiked to more than double without proper study
The western Railway's attempt at nabbing more ticketless travellers has turned into a nightmare for some of its employees. A 56-year-old ticket collector earlier this month wrote to the railways complaining of his deteriorating health owing to the rise in daily fine targets.
The sudden surge of target from Rs 4,000 to Rs 9,000 was announced around a month ago "without proper study", he has alleged, adding that this was leading to stress and anxiety that may result in severe health complications for ticket collectors.
Ramesh Ganpat Gawali posted at Grant Road wrote the letter on March 15, stating, "Given my age (56), it is not humanly possible for me to achieve the impossible new target and this is causing me a lot of stress while could end up in some serious medical problems."
"The targets given to me have only been increasing for the past couple of years. This is being done without proper research and study. The age of an employee is never taken into account while setting targets," the letter addressed to his Divisional Commercial Manager states.
Gawali, however, refused to comment over his complaint. "Being a government employee, I can't make any comment. It is my personal fight...(sic)," he said. The quinquagenarian has requested the authorities to post him for coach-manning or stationary duties given his age and health. He has, in his letter, has also stated that he is the sole bread earner of the family, and thus doesn't want to invite any sickness. "My children are still studying, I don't wish to end up with some critical illness," the letter states.
Gawali is not alone
Gawali is, however, not alone in the fight. A few more ticket collectors in their 50s have been complaining of the target affecting their health. "I am 57-year-old and would retire in three years. How do they expect us to meet a target of R9,000 every day? Most of the trains get over-crowded during office hours making it impossible for us to board them. We are thus restricted to the stations, standing for hours to check tickets. At this age, my legs and back give way at times. There needs to be a
systematic approach to assigning targets," said another ticket collector seeking anonymity.
The Western Railway spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar said that employees with health issues could always contact their seniors directly, who can then take appropriate steps. "The Indian Railways has over 13 lakh serving employees who have their distinct problems. We have increased the target so that more passengers travelling without tickets can be fined. When it comes to the nature of the job, they can approach the senior authorities regarding any health issues," Bhakar said, adding, "All the targets are sent to us by the Ministry of Railways and we only assign them accordingly," he added.
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