Pune: Taking cognisance of rising incidents of theft and attacks on passengers, the Railway Board has issued a circular to reserve a seat for security personnel - Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) - in trains, like the one reserved for Travelers' Ticket Examiner (TTE) - to ensure their presence on the train.
This will help troubled passengers to approach them easily in the hour of need. For the first time, the TTEs will also get Closed User Group (CUG) telephone facility, so that they can perform their duties in a better manner.
Railway Board issued a circular recently, stating that depending on the number of security personnel manning the train, enough number of seats should be reserved.
“One side lower berth (berth no 63 in S1 coach) may be earmarked for GRP or RPF in sleeper class coach in the entire train in which this staff is travelling. To make it clearer, if the train is being escorted by GRP, then a berth should be earmarked for GRP and in case the train is being escorted by RPF, one berth in sleeper class will be earmarked for RPF. In case no RPF or GRP personnel are escorting the train, no berth will be earmarked for them,” reads a circular issued by the Railway Board.
TTEs, who, until now, enjoyed a reserved berth in mail-express trains, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Jan-Shatabdi Express will also have a reserved seat for them in newer trains such as Duronto, Humsafar and Suvidha Special Trains.
“The decision has been taken considering that having a fixed seat for security personnel will be helpful to passengers, as it would be easier for them to find the police personnel. Also, the police personnel will have a designated space to keep their belongings and will not have to carry it around when they are patrolling the coaches,” said a senior official with Pune Division.
Avoid misuse: Activist
Welcoming the move, activist Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group cautioned that measures should be taken to check that TTEs do not 'sell' the reserved seat to passengers in lieu of cash.
“It's often noticed that TTEs, who used to earlier have berth no 7 reserved for them, used to sell it to the passengers who didn't have a confirmed seat. It has to be seen that they don't indulge in such illegal activity,” said Shah.