GUWAHATI, March 7: For the first time in the history of Indian Railways, Coaching Depot, Guwahati is engaging an all-woman gang for maintence of coaches.
With the increase in number of trains from the Guwahati station, there was an increase in the maintence needs of the incoming coaches in the pit line at Coach Maintence Depot, Guwahati. The pit line is the maintence facility in any Coach Maintence Depot for the cleaning and maintence work of the coaches once a train reaches its termition station. The Depot has a coach holding of about 1,300 and its activities are spread over Kamakhya, Paltan Bazaar and New Guwahati in Guwahati with a total of 6 pit lines and 2 sick lines and a staff of about 1,000 technicians. Out of these, about 200 are ladies.
The maintence work at pit lines has predomintly been in a male domain with work involved in all three shifts requiring the staff to go inside the dock pits for under gear (consisting of wheels and brake system) items attention of the coaches. The ladies were usually involved in ancillary maintence works of the coaches related to curtains repair, indication boards painting, etc.
Due to need for increasing maintence capacity of the pit line at Guwahati, a project was taken up in February 2018 to develop a maintence gang with only ladies staff. Twenty ladies of technician grade were selected in the Depot as a pilot and they were given classroom training over the various concepts of maintence involved in a train in pit lines. After the theoretical training, the batch was given hands-on practical training at pit line with the existing technicians. Special focus has been given on the safety checking aspects of the trains.