Friday, November 4, 2016

Siddharth Prabhakar| TNN | Updated: Nov 4, 2016, 

(Representative image)

CHENNAI: Thirteen travelling ticket examiners (TTEs) of Southern Railway were suspended on Tuesday after officials busted a scam in the commercial department where the TTEs were claiming travel allowance without being on duty.

The suspended TTEs of Trichy division include S Veerasekaran and P Anthonysamy, assistant general secretary and assistant divisional secretary of Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) the sole recognised union in the zone.

Revealing the details, a senior railway official said the TTEs were claiming travel allowance (TA) for the entire month without setting foot on the trains concerned. "One of these 13 worked only five days, but claimed TA for 27 days. This not only causes a loss of revenue to the railways, but passengers are inconvenienced as passengers with unreserved tickets can enter and travel freely," he said.

The TA claims of each TTE were in the range of 15,000- 20,000 a month, officials said. "This would translate into a notional loss of around 15 lakh a year for the 13 TTEs," the official said.

The racket was allegedly flourishing for years, but the officers concerned continued to approve the TA as a majority of the offenders are key office-bearers of SRMU, officials said. It was thoroughly investigated after chief commercial manager Ajeet Saxena ordered an inquiry last month.

Veerasekaran was always available at the SRMU leadership's beck and call at the Golden Rock Workshop in Trichy, observers say. "It was always a mystery as to how he found time for carrying out his duties as a TTE," said A Janakiraman, working president of Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU), a rival to SRMU.

A similar scam had been busted in mid-2015 by officials in the Chennai division after it was found that TTEs were employing porters and other proxies to fine ticket-less passengers at railway stations like Chennai Central. Though they were immediately transferred, SRMU intervened to stop their transfer. The other TTEs suspended on Thursday are F M A Jayaraj, M Thamaraiselvan, S Muruganandam, M Raja, E Manohar, H Abdul Sirajudeen, A Periyanan, S Durairaj, A Nazeer Ahmed, R Ravi and Jermiah Melvin.

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