Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grant of House Rent Allowance to Railway employees
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(RAILWAY BOARD)
RBE No.218 New Delhi,dated 10.12.2009
No.E(P&A)II-98/HRA-6The General Managers/CAOs,All Indian Railways and Production Units.
Subject:Grant of House Rent Allowance to Railway employees posted to new zones/new Divisions - Regarding.
Subject:Grant of House Rent Allowance to Railway employees posted to new zones/new Divisions - Regarding.
******Attention is invited to the instructions contained in Board's letters of even unmber dated 9.3.2004, 9.8.2006, 12.12.2007 and 24.10.2008 on the above subject. As per letter dt.24.10.2008 only railway staff posted to East-Cental Railway were allowed house rent allowance at the rates admissible at their last place of posting upto 31.8.2009.2. The matter has been considered by the Board subsequent to issue of letter No.E(G)2008 QR1-1 dated 22.5.2009 and it has been decided that railway employees posted to all new zones/divisions, in a uniform manner, may be allowed house rent allowance upto 31.8.2009 on the same terms and conditions laid down in the letter dated 09.03.2004 ibid and as amended/ clarified from to time.3. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance Directorate of the Ministry of Railways.
(Salim Md.Ahmed)Deputy Director, Estt.(P&A)IIIRailway Board.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Comrades,
Let the whole world know about Developments in Mumbai Division ofCentral & Western Railway.
The Train Driving Staff of both the CR & WR of Mumbai Division gatheredunder the banner of Joint Action Forum in the meeting held at theSuburban Lobby of Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Stationunanimously decided to take one day National Holiday on the nextRepublic Day 26TH January, 2010.
They are demanding review of Grade Pay for all categories of the traindriving staff, Revision of Mileage Rates from 01.01.2006 & 01.09.2008as per the RAC 1981 formula, Computation allowance for Motormen &Judicial Review of the HOER.
They claim the Railway Administration willfully delaying the decision inall these issues.Does that means complete train stoppage in MUMBAI?Will Railway Administration not take any decision and compel the TrainDriving Staff to intensify the agitation further after 26th January,2010.
Please think it over, inform others, and send your comments suggestions.Thank you,
MAHESH N PANDYA
To
Sri Kuldeep Chathurvedi,
General Manager,
South Western Railway,
HUBLI.

Respected Sir,

AILRSA South Western Railway Zonal Convention held at Prakash Restaurant, Hubli on 16.12.09, presided by Sri SD Arnold, Zonal President. The convention was welcomed by Sri C. Sunish, General Secretary and was inaugurated by Sri PS Prasad, General Secretary, Co-Ordination Committee of Central Government Employees and Workers, Karnataka State. He explained the latest stand of COC about the agitations against the adverse recommendations of 6th CPC and about the decisions of first meeting of the National Anomaly Committee which was held on 12th December, 2009. On behalf of the Confederation, Com. S.K. Vyas, President and Com. K.K.N. Kutty, Secretary General attended and participated in the discussion.
Sri.Prasad emphasized the need of joint struggle by Central Government Employees including Railways.

Sri MN Prasad, Secretary General AILRSA delivered Key note Address. He elaborately explained the agitational programs by AILRSA from the submission of 6th CPC report in detail. He narrated the details of the conciliation by RLC, New Delhi on 24.11.09 which led to the postponement of Hunger fast as per the guidance RLC. He also explained about the suggestion of Cadre Review Committee to extend the facility of up-gradation for Assistant Loco Pilot to 20/80 %. Now 80% of ALPs will get up- graded GP of 2400. This benefit is given only to pacify and control our struggle. So it is our duty to educate our workers the importance of maintaining the tempo of struggle till we achieve our demands.

Sri MM Roly, Central Organising Secretary, Sri KC James, Joint Secretary General, Sri R Surendran, Divisional Secretary, Bangalore, Sri. K Nishad, Divisional Secretary, Hubli, Sri Dhikshith, Branch Secretary, Hubli, Sri. Vaidya SB, Divisional Secretary, RMS Employees Union were addressed the gathering.

The meeting passed the following resolutions:

1. Railway Medical Facilities
The railway medical facilities to be up graded; so that the staff is getting advantage of latest technology. The hospital should have more number of beds and to be maintained hygienic conditions. Employees are avoiding treatment from Railway hospitals due to the poor maintenance and unhygienic conditions.
Private Medical Certificate: There are incidents that many Crew Controllers are not accepting PMC.

As per the Medical Manual

“Should a railway employee, residing within the jurisdiction of a Railway doctor, desire to be attended by a non- railway medical attendant of his own choice, it is not incumbent on him to place himself under the treatment of the Railway Doctor, it is however essential that if leave of absence is required on medical certificate, a request for such leave should be supported by a sick certificate from the Railway Doctor. When a Railway Employee residing out side the jurisdiction of a Railway Doctor requires leave on medical certificate, he should submit, within 48 hours, a sick certificate from a Registered Medical Practitioner……”

Hence this meeting demands to give clear instruction to all CCRCs to accept PMC.

Railway Medical Officers are extending step motherly treatment to the running staff. In health unit doctors will not be available round the clock. And if an employee reports sick after the office hours of the health unit and on Holidays he will not get treatment and sick certificate. If the Railway doctor is not available at a place and the staff approach private doctor and along with the certificate if he met railway doctor on his next availability, the person should keep in sick list.

2. Allowing preparation time of 2 hrs beyond Head Quarters rest

The rest at Head Quarter is defined as 16/12 hours for a duty of above 8hours/below 8 hours. Rajadhyaksha award is clearly mentioned about the preparation time of 2 hours in their recommendation. But different divisional authorities are not adhering these instructions. In SWR also some divisions call was being served at 14th hour asking the employee to report at 16th hour. As per the OA 149/03&801/04 dt: 03.11.2005, of CAT Hyderabad.it is very clear that the Head Quarters rest is 16+2(preparation time) and staff should not be disturbed at 14th hour. Hence this meeting demands to allow 2 hours preparation time.

3. Bye-passing of Head quarters.

Now a days it is frequent to compel the staff to work bye passing head quarters. Goods crew after coming back from 2-3 days of out station detention is being asked to work to another direction bye passing their HQ is not fair. So necessary instruction may be given to the control organisation to avoid such bye-passing. Crew beat to be displayed at all crew booking points.

4. Inter Zone working:

There is a proposal for extending the present pattern of Goods/ Passenger/Express trains to work beyond Divisional/ Zonal jurisdiction. This is creating many problems to the working crew.
Bangalore-Guntakal working: In the present link, the utilization of Mail/ Express Crew has been about 42 to 44 hrs per week, which is almost up to the maximum hours prescribed by HOER without taking into account late arrivals and other detentions. Hence, the question of raising the bar for achieving maximum productivity does not arise at all. The paradox is that the proposed link by the administration reduces the utilization of Mail / Express crew to about 40 to 42 hrs. Further SBC Crew is already crossing their divisional boundaries and working up to Erode and Chennai. This association strongly condemns extending the working beyond DMM; by this, the administration has reduced the Head Quarters Rest and increased Out Station detention, which shall alter our social life very badly.

5. Long hood working of WDP4

Long Hood working of WDP4 Locos is a safety hazard and this has been highlighted to the administration a number of times and the administration has turned a deaf ear to an important issue raised by the very staff that has been entrusted to ensure safety. Such a non-participatory administrative setup shall prove very dangerous, as we are carrying the public. Once again this association demands that turn - table be provided at major junctions for working trains with SHORT HOOD as Leading. This association feels that a responsible action be taken by the administration before any accident occur on the Indian Railways.

6. Cab ergonomics:
Nowadays different loco sheds are modifying the locomotive cabs according to their will. They are not considering the convenience of working crew. Especially in WDP4 locos horns are provided at the back side of ALP seat, operating horns will develop back pain due to the twist angle. Hence we demand to consider the suggestion of AILRSA in this regard.


7. Handling training on completion of RC.
As per the Railway Board order 4 days handling has to be given on completion of RC ( ref No.SWR/M/R/14Dt.17.02.09), but unfortunately CMPE (Dsl) diluted this order by utilizing the LP directly to duty and asking the LIs to counsel the LP in 4 trips, which is highly objectionable. This association demands to give full handling after RC.

8. Filling up the posts of CCRC/CPRC/CRC
AILRSA repeatedly demanding to fill up the vacancies in CCRC/CPRC/CRC posts which is an ex-cadre post. But unfortunately divisional authorities are not implementing the Railway Board order in this regard. Some pick and choose persons and LIs are managing these posts.


9. Running Rooms and Rest Rooms
As per Railway board instruction, running rooms to be given three star facilities. But in SWR many running rooms and rest rooms are poorly maintained. No adequate supply of hygienic drinking water, no sufficient number of beds, News papers etc. Subsidized food is not being supplied in many places. The quality of the supplied food is not ensured. In some running rooms contract persons are not serving call. Now Senior Welfare Inspector is posted only to look after grievances of LP/ALP. Such SWI may be directed to inspect different rest rooms and running rooms and collecting the suggestions to make a proper report.

10. Minimum Guaranteed KMs
For the past 18 months the Loco Running Staff of Hospet are not getting minimum Guaranteed KMs for the following sections:TNGL-RNJP-TNGL,TNGL-BAY-TNGL. Many representations were submitted and even DRM Hubli has given an assurance in this regard. But till the out come has not come. Hence this meeting demands to identify these sections as handicapped and minimum guaranteed KMs to be allowed.

11. Counseling Sri Giri, DME/Power/UBL
This meeting vehemently condemns the negative attitude of Sri. Giri, DME/Power Hubli and request Sr.DME/UBL to counsel him to change his attitude and stop issuing baseless charge sheets to the running staff, in order to maintain harmonious relation ship.( A detailed letter narrating different cases will follow)

12. DPO Mysore -Cutting of AMA – OP Without any Clarification & information
In the payment for the month of November, DPO/MYS has started a Deduction under the Description AMA-OP in multiples of amount ranging from Rs:-1500/- to Rs:-2500/- and this has done without any previous intimation. And the amounts deducted are without any proper calculations too. This meeting demands that any deductions from the salary to be intimated to the staff, and the concerned supervisor who caused OP may be taken up.

13. Income Tax Deduction

The Railway has disbursed the CPC arrears and Tax deducted in the current year. But as per the Income Tax rules if an employee receives an arrears the Tax to be calculated separately for 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008 period and adjusted with that years Tax. If it has done many workers will be benefited. For that purpose employee has to submit Form-10 E available at Income Tax office.

6.3 RELIEF UNDER SECTION 89 (1):-
It is available to an employee when he receives salary in advance or in arrear or when in one financial year, he receives salary of more than 12 months or receives ‘profits in lieu of salary’. W.e.f. 1.6.89, relief u/s 89(1) can be granted at the time of TDS from employees of all companies, co-operative societies, universities or institutions as well as govt. /public sector undertakings, the relief should be claimed by the employee in Form No. 10E and should be worked out as explained in Rule 21A of the Income Tax Rules.

21AA. Where the assessee, being a Government servant or an employee in a [company, co-operative society, local authority, university, institution, association or body], is entitled to relief under sub-section (1) of section 89, he may furnish to the person responsible for making the payment referred to in sub-section (1) of section 192, the particulars specified in Form No. 10E.

Hence this association requests CPO to issue orders to calculate the arrears accordingly and deduct Income tax for the particular year only.


Expected speedy redressal for the above demands


Thanking You Yours faithfully


Bangalore (C.Sunish)
18.12.09

Copy to All Concerned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

AILRSA South Western Railway Zonal Convention held at Prakash Restaurant, Hubli on 16.12.09, presided by Com. SD Arnold, Zonal President. The convention was welcomed by Com. C. Sunish, General Secretary and was inaugurated by Com. PS Prasad, General Secretary, Co Ordination Committee of Central Government Employees and Workers, Karnataka State.
He explained the latest stand of COC about the agitations against the adverse recommendations of 6th CPC and about the decisions of first meeting of the National Anomaly Committee which was held on 12th December, 2009. Secretary (Personnel) chaired the meeting. On behalf of the Confederation, Com. S.K. Vyas, President and Com. K.K.N. Kutty Secretary General attended and participated in the discussion.
He emphasized the need of joint struggle by Central Government Employees including Railways.
Com. MN Prasad delivered Key note Address. He elaborately explained the agitational programs by AILRSA from the submission of 6th CPC report in detail. He narrated the details of the conciliation by RLC New Delhi on 24.11.09 and proposed Hunger fast was postponed as per the guidance RLC. He also explained about the suggestion of Cadre Review Committee to extend the facility of up gradation for Assistant Loco Pilot to 20/80 %. Now 80% ALP will get up graded GP of 2400. This benefit is given only to pacify and control our struggle. So it is our duty to educate out workers the importance of maintaining the tempo of struggle till we achieve our demands.
Com. MM Roly, Central Organising Secretary, Com. KC James, Joint Secretary General, Com. R Surendran, Divisional Secretary, Bangalore, Com. Dhikshith, Branch Secretary, Hubli, Com. . Vaidya SB, Divisional Secretary, RMS Employees Union were addressed the gathering.





















To
THE CHAIRMAN,
Railway board,
Rail Bhavan,
New Delhi.

Respected Sir,

Sub:-Enhancing the exemption limit of Running allowance from Income Tax-reg:-

70% of Running Allowance received by Running Staff of Indian Railways up to the maximum of Rs. 6000/- per month is exempted from Income Tax. This is done vide sec (14)(ii) read with rule 2BB(2) of Income Tax rules to exempt any allowance granted to an employee working in any transport system to meet his personal expenditure during his duty performed in the course of running of such transport from one place to another place; provided such employee is not in receipt of daily allowance. The maximum limit of Rs. 6000/-per month is fixed as per Income Tax (third amendment) Rules, 2000 with effect from 01.08.1997, i.e. from the date of revision of running allowance on implementation of 5th CPC.

Consequent upon the implementation of 6th CPC and enhancing daily allowance by 3.8 times w.e.f. 01.09.2008, the maximum limit of Running allowance exempted from Income Tax also requires enhancement from the present level of Rs.6000 to the tune of 3.8 times.

This Association requests your august authority to take up the matter at the appropriate level so as to enhance the exemption limit of running allowance from Income Tax to3.8 times. This matter requires immediate attention as the calculation for deduction towards Income Tax from the salary of the employees for the Financial Year 2009-2010 are going to be finalized in the coming months.

Thanking you,
Yours faithfully,
M. N. PRASAD,
New Delhi, Secretary General/AILRSA
17.12.09

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Constituted on 31.08.2009

STANDING COMMITTEE ON RAILWAYS (2009-2010)

Shri. T.R.Balu - Chairman

MEMBERS
LOKSABHA

2. Shri.Khiladi Lat Bairwa
3. Shri.Kameshwar Baitha(Palamau)
4. Shri.K.Bapiraju
5. Smt.Rajkumari Chauhan
6. Dr.Ram Chandra Dome
7. Smt.Maneka Gandhi
8. Smt.Botcha Jhansi Lakshmi
9. Shri.Prahlad Joshi
10. Dr.Nirmal Khatri
11. Shri.Anand Prakash Paranjpe
12. Shri.Somabhai(Koli Patel)
13. Shri.Rudramadhab Ray
14. Smt.Shatabdi Roy
15. Smt.Sushila Saroj
16. Smt.Yashodhra Raj Seindia
17. Shri.Gopal Singh
18. Shri.Chaudary Lal Singh
19. Shri.Umashankar Singh
20. Sri.Lalji Tandan
21. Dr.GirijaVyas RAJYA SABHA.
22. Ms.Sushila Tiriya
23. Shri.Nandi Yellaiah
24. Shri.Ishwar Singh
25. Shri.Lalin Kishore Chaturvedi
26. Shri.Om Prakash Mathur
27. Shri.Parini Kanta Roy
28. Shri.AmbethRajan
29. Shri.N.Balaganga
30. Shri.K.I.Ismail
31. Shri.Ambani Roy.
ATTENDENCE SHEET
(Conciliation talk between AILRSA and Railway Board at RLC(Central),
New Delhi on 24.11.09

FOR THE MANAGEMENT
Name Designation Signature
John Ekka Deputy Director
D. Mallik Joint Director
Hari Kishan Director, Pay Commission

FOR THE UNION
Name Designation Signature
MN Prasad Secretary General
L Mony President
NB Dutta Joint Secretary General
JS Tank Treasurer
KC James Assistant Secretary General

Minutes: 24.11.09

Parties are present as per the Attendance Sheet enclosed. The matter has been discussed in detailed. The general secretary of the Association has elaborately brought various issues for which he requested that some immediate solution may be made otherwise employees are raising various quarries for a fast relief. He has also submitted a list of their demands of dated 05.10.2008 which is also taken on record and also a letter dated 24.11.2009 which has been addressed to the honourable Minister for railways for which the association states that they are going to give a Resolution for which is also taken on record.

Basically their issues are involved in letter of dated 05.10.2008 and 24.11.2009 and copies of the same also delivered to the management of Railways. As in the initial notice of conciliation the details of the demand were not sent to them so the rep. of management are requested that they should look into these issues and put up their specific submission with in six weeks.

The association vide their letter dated 05.10.2008, addressed to the Hon’ble Minister for Railways in which they have decoded to organize their agitation programme by sit in Fast for 24 hours on 25th/26th Nov 2009 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The Association representation present today have been advised that since the matter is now under the consideration any concerted action during the process of conciliation proceedings will defeat the very purpose of conciliation so they are requested to defer their agitation programme and await for peaceful conciliation and solution. The Association also agreed to defer their agitation movement but requested that since for 25th Nov:2009 they have already decided to hold a Railway at Jantar Mantar, so in this regard they are again advised they should immediately pass on the message to their workers to not to do any concerted action during the process of conciliation proceedings. The Association representatives present today stated that since the programme has already been decided a long ago and they have already representatives to participate for the Rally throughout the country, so they may try their level best to hold the Rally in a peaceful manner without disturbing the working of the Railways. They are again advised to see all the possibilities for not to hold this.

The management is also requested that various issues which have been raised in the representation requires immediate consideration and they should find out the ways to resolve it at the earliest.

Hearing is adjourned and next date is fixed for 18.1.2010 at 11.30 a.m.

[B.B.BHATNAGAR]
REGIONAL LABOUR COMMISSIONER [CENTRAL]
NEW DELHI.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Income Tax Rule

6.3 RELIEF UNDER SECTION 89 (1):-
It is available to an employee when he receives salary in advance or in arrear or when in one financial year, he receives salary of more than 12 months or receives ‘profits in lieu of salary’.
W.e.f. 1.6.89, relief u/s 89(1) can be granted at the time of TDS from employees of all companies, co-operative societies, universities or institutions as well as govt. /public sector undertakings, the relief should be claimed by the employee in Form No. 10E and should be worked out as explained in Rule 21A of the Income Tax Rules.

21AA. Where the assessee, being a Government servant or an employee in a [company, co-operative society, local authority, university, institution, association or body], is entitled to relief under sub-section (1) of section 89, he may furnish to the person responsible for making the payment referred to in sub-section (1) of section 192, the particulars specified in Form No. 10E.

Relief when salary is paid in arrears or in advance, etc.
21A. (1) Where, by reason of any portion of an assessees salary being paid in arrears or in advance or, by reason of any portion of family pension received by an assessee being paid in arrears or, by reason of his having received in any one financial year salary for more than twelve months or a payment which under the provisions of clause (3) of section 17 is a profit in lieu of salary, his income is assessed at a rate higher than that at which it would otherwise have been assessed, the relief to be granted under sub-section (1) of section 89 shall be
(a) where any portion of the assessees salary is received in arrears or in advance or, any portion of family pension is received by an assessee in arrears, in accordance with the provisions of sub-rule (2);
(b) where the payment is in the nature of gratuity in respect of past services of the assessee extending over a period of not less than five years, in accordance with the provisions of sub-rule (3);
(c) where the payment is in the nature of compensation received by the assessee from his employer or former employer at or in connection with the termination of his employment after continuous service for not less than three years and where the unexpired portion of his term of employment is also not less than three years, in accordance with the provisions of sub-rule (4);
(d) where the payment is in commutation of pension, in accordance with the provisions of sub-rule (5); and
(e) where the payment is not in the nature of salary paid in arrears or in advance or gratuity in respect of past services or compensation received at or in connection with the termination of employment or in commutation of pension, in accordance with the provisions of sub-rule (6).
(2)(a) In a case referred to in clause (a) of sub-rule (1), the tax payable by the assessee on his total income of the previous year in which the salary is received in arrears or in advance or, in which the family pension is received in arrears (such salary or family pension being hereafter in this sub-rule referred to respectively as the additional salary or additional family pension, as the case may be, and such previous year being hereafter in this sub-rule referred to as the relevant previous year) shall be reduced by the amount, if any, by which the tax on the additional salary or additional family pension, calculated in the manner specified in clause (b), exceeds the tax or the aggregate tax on the additional salary or additional family pension, calculated in the manner specified in clause (c) or clause (d), as the case may be.
(b) Tax shall be calculated on the total income of the relevant previous year as reduced by the additional salary or additional family pension, as the case may be, as if the total income so reduced were the total income of the assessee, and the amount by which the tax so calculated falls short of the tax on the total income before such reduction shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be taken to be the tax on the additional salary or additional family pension, under this clause.
(c) Where the additional salary or additional family pension, as the case may be, relates to only one previous year, tax shall be calculated on the total income of the said previous year as increased by the additional salary or additional family pension, as if the total income so increased were the total income of the assessee, and the amount by which the tax so calculated exceeds the tax payable by the assessee in respect of the total income of the said previous year shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be taken to be the tax on the additional salary or additional family pension, under this clause.
(d) Where the additional salary or additional family pension, as the case may be, relates to more than one previous year,
(i) the previous years to which the additional salary or additional family pension relates and the amount relating to each such previous year shall first be ascertained;
(ii) tax shall, then, be calculated on the total income of each such previous year as increased by the amount relating to such previous year ascertained under sub-clause (i); as if the total income so increased were the total income of that previous year, and the amount by which the aggregate amount of tax in respect of the aforesaid previous years as calculated under sub-clause (ii) exceeds the aggregate amount of tax payable by the assessee in respect of the total income of the said previous years shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be taken to be the aggregate tax on the additional salary or additional family pension, under this clause.]
(3) (a) In a case referred to in clause (b) of sub-rule (1), the tax payable by the assessee on his total income of the previous year in which the payment by way of gratuity is received (such previous year being hereafter in this sub-rule referred to as the relevant previous year) shall be reduced by the amount, if any, by which the tax on the amount of the gratuity included in the total income of the relevant previous year, calculated at the average rate of tax applicable to such total income, exceeds the tax on the amount of such gratuity, calculated at the rate of tax determined under clause (b) or, as the case may be, clause (c).
(b) Where the payment by way of gratuity is made in respect of past services of the assessee extending over a period of not less than five years but less than fifteen years,
(i) the total income of the assessee in respect of each of the two previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year shall be increased by an amount equal to one-half of the amount of the gratuity included in the total income of the relevant previous year, and the average rate of tax for each of the said two previous years shall be calculated as if the total income so increased were the total income of that previous year; and
(ii) the average of the average rates of tax for the two previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year, calculated in accordance with sub-clause (i), shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be the rate of tax determined under this clause.
(c) Where the payment by way of gratuity is made in respect of past services of the assessee extending over a period of not less than fifteen years,
(i) the total income of the assessee in respect of each of the three previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year shall be increased by an amount equal to one-third of the amount of the gratuity included in the total income of the relevant previous year, and the average rate of tax for each of the said three previous years shall be calculated as if the total income so increased were the total income of that previous year; and
(ii) the average of the average rates of tax for the three previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year, calculated in accordance with sub-clause (i), shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be the rate of tax determined under this clause.
(4) (a) In a case referred to in clause (c) of sub-rule (1), the tax payable by the assessee on his total income of the previous year in which the payment by way of compensation is received (such previous year being hereafter in this sub-rule referred to as the relevant previous year) shall be reduced by the amount, if any, by which the tax on the amount of the compensation included in the total income of the relevant previous year, calculated at the average rate of tax applicable to such total income, exceeds the tax on the amount of such compensation, calculated at the rate of tax determined under clause (b).
(b) The total income of the assessee in respect of each of the three previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year shall be increased by an amount equal to one-third of the amount of the compensation included in the total income of the relevant previous year, and the average rate of tax for each of the said three previous years shall be calculated as if the total income so increased were the total income of that previous year; and the average of the average rates of tax so calculated for the three previous years shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be the rate of tax determined under this clause.
(5) (a) In a case referred to in clause (d) of sub-rule (1), the tax payable by the assessee on his total income of the previous year in which the payment in commutation of pension is received (such previous year being hereafter in this sub-rule referred to as the relevant previous year) shall be reduced by the amount, if any, by which the tax on the payment in commutation of pension included in the total income of the relevant previous year, calculated at the average rate of tax applicable to such total income, exceeds the tax on the amount of such payment, calculated at the rate of tax determined under clause (b).
(b) The total income of the assessee in respect of each of the three previous years immediately preceding the relevant previous year shall be increased by an amount equal to one-third of the amount of payment in commutation of pension included in the total income of the relevant previous year, and the average rate of tax for each of the said three previous years shall be calculated as if the total income so increased were the total income of that previous year; and the average of the average rates of tax so calculated for the three previous years shall, for the purposes of clause (a), be the rate of tax determined under this clause.
(6) In a case referred to in clause (e) of sub-rule (1), the Board may, having regard to the circumstances of the case, allow such relief as it deems fit.

Friday, December 4, 2009

ALL INDIA LOCO RUNNING STAFF ASSOCIATION
HQ ADRA Reg. No. 17903 AFF to AIREC

SOUTH WESTERN RAILWAY ZONE, HUBLI
Web Site: www.ailrsa-swr.org E-mail: ailrsaswr@gmail.com
Blog: railwayslocopilots.blogspot.com


At Least the Bosses came down from the Ivory Tower

Dear Comrades,

Since the date of publication of 6th CPC report we have been continuously drawing the attention of Railway administration against the injustice done to the Running Staff in General and Assistant Loco Pilots in particular. The Grade Pay(GP) of ALP is fixed Rs 1900/- just 100/- above the lowest basic of Group C. Even though the qualification for the post of ALP is 10+ ITI, more than 50% of them are Diploma holders. They have to undergo training in different type of locos, General Rules; Subsidiary rules and is equally responsible for any undue incidents. Due to the inadequate GP and poor working condition, around 30% ALP’s are drop out during their initial training it self. Also the historical relativity between the different grades of Loco Running staff is abolished by merging the pay scales of LP (G), LP (P), and LP (M). Hence we demand Rs. 2800/- as GP to ALP, Rs. 4600/- to LP (G), Rs. 4800/- to LP (P), and Rs. 5400/- to LP (M). Also we demand the special allowance of Rs. 1000/- and Rs.500/- to be given to all Loco Running Staff.

We demand to consider TA rate of Rs.340/- for calculating the running allowance and RAC 1980 formula to be continued as yard stick for running allowance.

We demand judicial review of out dated HOER as agreed by the Government.

AILRSA organized a number of agitational programs from 23.04.2008 onwards. Out of that the 36 hour Hunger fast on 29.12.08 was impressive and Honorable Railway minister Sri Lalu Prasad Yadav instructed Chairman Railway Board to redress the grievances of Loco Pilots and Assistant Loco Pilots. On 17.11.08 our delegation met Member Staff Sri. SS Khurana, and on 06.02.09 met CRB Sri SS Khurana and he expressed his view regarding the lower basic of ALP and assured us that some improvement will be done within the possible limit.

AILRSA decision to go for indefinite strike was deferred due the Parliament election.

Our delegation met Sri AK Anthony, Honorable Minister for defence, and many MP’s and leaders of different political Parties. Sri Balaganga MP and Sri TK Rangarajan MP, represented our issues in Rajya Sabha.
As per the decision of All India BGM at Nagpur on 27.06.09 we declared 24 hours hunger fast in front of Janthar Mantar after a massive rally on 25/26 Nov 2009.
However Honarable Regional Labour Commisioner(Central )Sri BB Bhat Nagar intervened and called a conciliatory meeting on 24.11.09. From Railway Board Sri John Ekka, Deputy Director, Sri D Mallik, Joint Director and Sri Hari Kishan, Director Pay Commission attended and Sri MN Prasad, Secretary General, Sri L Mony, President, Sri NB Dutta, Joint Secretary General, Sri Jit Singh Tank Treasurer, Sri KC James, Assistant Secretary General were attended. The Honorable RLC instructed the Railways to come with their decision specifically on our demands within 6 weeks and next sitting will be on 18.01.10 and advice us to postpone our Hunger fast program. We conducted a massive Dharna at janthar Mantar instead of Hunger fast. Com. Basudeb Acharia MP, Com. Tapan Sen MP were addressed the gathering.

Now we have to intensify our campaign program. This is not a time for IDLING. If the conciliation on 18.01.10 fails we have left with no option but STOPPAGE OF WORK.

For explaining recent development we are organizing Zonal Convention at Prakash restaurant Hubli on 16th Dec 2009 from 10.00 hours.
Presiding: Com. SD Arnold, Zonal President , AILRSA,SWR
Inauguration : Com. PS Prasad, General Secretary,
Co ordination committee of Central Govt. Employees and Workers,
Karnataka.
Key Note Address: Com. MN Prasad, Secretary General, AILRSA
Speakers
Com. L Mony, Central President ,AILRSA
Com. KC James, Assistant Secretary General, AILRSA
Com. C. Sunish, General Secretary, AILRSA, SWR
Com. A Jayachandran, Central Organising Secretary, AILRSA
Com. D Murali, Ex. Organising Secretary, AILRSA, SCR

Attend Enmasse Working Class Unity Zindabad.

Monday, November 30, 2009










ALL INDIA LOCO RUNNING STAFF ASSOCIATION
(Organisation of Redesignated Loco Pilots and
Asstt Loco Pilots of Indian Railways of All the Tractions)
Regd. No. 17903 H/Q Yellow Building, P.O. Anara R.S. Distt. Purulia (W.B.) Pin 723126
Central Office : AILRSA BHAWAN, H.No. 333, Bhoor Bharat Nagar, Ghaziabad – 201001.
Tel. No. : 0120-2740025
M.N. Prasad
L. Mony Secretary General`
Central President At Aravindapally,
‘Devi Nilayam’, Kadavil Road, PO.Adra-723121
P.O. Vyttila-682019, Kochi, Kerala W.Bengal
Phone : 09446207312 Mob: 09434008950

Dated : 27.11.2009


The CWC meeting was held in extended form in
Ambedkar Hall, New Delhi on 26th Nov. 2009 from 11 hrs
which concluded at 16 hrs.


DECISIONS

Extended CWC meeting was presided over by a presidium, consisting of Com. L.Mony and Com. N.Sarkar. All together 26 delegates spoken.
The rally program and sit in fast program on 25th/ 26th Nov. 09 was deferred in view of advice had been given by RLC (Central) New Delhi’s in conciliation meeting was held in RLC’s office but a meeting was conducted at Jantar Mantar starting from 11.30 hrs to 16.30 hrs, which was addressed by Com Basudev Acharya MP, Com. Tapan Sen MP (RS), Com. Kanai Banerjee Secy/CITU along with delegates of Loco Running Staff who have come from various parts of Indian Railways. The meeting was very much impressive.
The CWC meeting in extended form was then conducted on 26th Nov. adopted the following resolution.
1. While the CWC appreciates the intervention of RLC (Central) New Delhi by calling the reconciliatory meeting as an effort of solving our problems peacefully, resolved to call upon all the organizational units to strengthen the organization at all levels so that in case reconciliation fails the Association may go for a action which may include the action of strike.

2. The CWC resolved and advised to all the units of AILRSA to continue its campaign program in the different possible forum to keep organization ready for any Trade Union action when it is felt necessary.
3. Membership drive should seriously be given and completed by Jan. 2010.
4. The following Central tour program is finalized.
a) Railway Date Team of leaders

E.C. Railway Samastipur Com. N.B.Dutta
19th Dec. 09 Com. Jit Singh Tank
GMO or DHN Com. D.N.Pal
20th Dec. 2009

NE Railway 17th Dec. 2009 Com. N.B.Dutta
in Izatnagar Div. Com. Jit Singh Tank
If not possible then either Com. D.N.Pal
LKO or GKR
18th Dec. at CPR.

Reservation for team of leader will be done by the respective zone, for return to their HQ i.e. for Com. Jit Singh Tank to Muradabad, for Com. D.N.Pal to Bandel, E.C. Railway will do.

b) S. Railway 15th Dec. 09 at Erode Com. M.N.Prasad
S.W.Railway 16th at Hubli Com. L.Mony
S.C. Railway 17th at Secundrabad Com. K.C.James

Reservation will be done by S.Railway/ S.C. Railway/ S.W.Railway

c) E.Railway 20th/ 21st Dec. 09 Com. M.N.Prasad

E.Railway will do reservation for Com. M.N.Prasad to NJP as follows

d) N.F. Railway 22/ 23rd Dec. Com. L.Mony
Com. M.N.Prasad

E.Railway will do reservation Ex. HWH to NJP for this team having consultation with Com. K.C. James

N.F. Railway will do reservation for me to ADA and for other to Eranakulam.

: 3 :

e) W.Railway 27th to 29th Dec. 09 Com. M.N.Prasad
N.W. Railway Com. M.P.Deb
W.C. Railway Com. Gautam

NGP div/ C Rly will do reservation
Ex. NGP to the destination. I shall intimate the destination later and to back. Com. Luna Ram will make arrangement shared by the concerned Railways.

7. SEC 1st Jan. 2010 Com. M.N. Prasad
Com N.B.Dutta
SER 2nd Jan. 2010 Com S.K.Gautam
Com M.P. Deb

Com. S.K.Gautam and Com. M.P.Deb will go back NGP from SER and myself will go ADA, Com.N.B.Dutta to HWH.

SE Railway will do reservation accordingly.





(M.N. PRASAD)
Secy. General


RESOLUTIONS ON DEMAND

PROTECTION OF PENSION BENEFITS OF MEDICALLY
UNFIT LOCO RUNNING STAFF

The rules at present does not permit 55% pay element for retirement benefits after medical de-categorization irrespective of length service in running cadre, whereas those who come to running cadre at the fag end of service and superannuate or voluntarily retire enjoy the benefit fully. This is a clear case of injustice to those who shed their blood and sweat in running cadre for 30 or 40 years facing the risk of uncertainity in service by overcoming millions of signals successfully along with forgoing of social life for a longer period. 55% pensionary benefits are enforced by law to compensate the non-comparable work load, undertaken in running service. Because of the increasing workload cases of medical unfit is alarmingly increasing particularly those joined to running cadre at an early age of 20 to 25 years.
Accordingly to the present rule if a loco running staff becomes medically unfit after putting a service of 25 years, at the age of 50 to protect his 55% pension benefit he has to opt for a voluntary retirement forgoing his salary for remaining 10 years in the apex grade. If he opts for a supernumerary alternate post, his basic pay will be fixed with 30% additional fixation and retire without any pay element like other non-running railway staff. In government service every employee reaches a higher pay scale at the fag end of service and all employees who do not have a precondition of medical fitness can draw that higher wages and retire. But only running staff who is toiling in his whole service day and night without any public holidays and proper guaranteed weekly rest is discriminated by this rule.
When any railway staff join as an Assistant Loco Pilot or goods guard at the age of 55 or 58 they are entitled for 55% retirement benefit after enjoying a peaceful stationery job from youthful days till the old age without encountering any risk. Even the Loco inspectors who are given 30% pay fixation when moving from running cadre are again given 30% retirement benefits on retirement without facing the risks of loco running staff.
So, this association demands to amend the 55% retirement benefits rules to medically unfit loco running staff opting supernumerary posts with 25% retirement benefits at the time of retirement to do justice to them on par with other employees in railway.
Capital Punishment on Signal Passing at ON
The Railway Ministers safety review meeting held on 31.8.2009 has recommended capital punishment unilaterally without considering the circumstances or merits of the case. Actually signal passing at danger is an occupational hazard concerned to a loco pilot. As there are occupational hazards connected with every kind of jobs in this world which do not attract capital punishment, earmarking capital punishment to loco running staff alone for signal passing is a grave injustice as it is not done willfully. (According to dictionary occupational hazard is something dangerous or unpleasant one risks to do a particular job).
When Railway is expecting 100% perfection from a loco pilot, railway is willfully denying sufficient rest, leave, limitation in duty hours and night duties and a better pay package. Railways are repeatedly stating human failure as cause of accidents but refusing to investigate why humans are failing. Inspite of so many accidents railways are un-willing to accept that the in-human rules of working conditions are causing human failure. The latest studies states that micro sleep due to fatigue described as a brief, unintentional episode of loss of attention with a blank stare, head napping and prolonged eye closure that lasts from 2 to 30 seconds also known as nodding off with short term memory deficits occur at any time without any warning totally unaware to loco pilots.
Added to this visibility of signals, hidden behind OHE masts, three branches, or surrounded by numerous colour lights of hoardings or street light impairing visibility should be cleared.
From the response of railways to every accidents it appears that without declaring railway admits that it is more economical to allow accidents rarely, than to take steps to prevent it which is costlier by limiting duty hours, reducing night duties and keeping vacancies filled up always. The accidents occurring rarely can be put upon the working crew terming human failure and paying compensation to accident victims is much cheaper than cost of preventing accidents.
So, this association demands to consider the signal passing cases without consequences as an indication of system failure.

Selection of Loco Inspectors
At present, Loco Inspectors are selected from Loco Pilot goods onwards to Loco Pilot passenger and Loco Pilot mail. As the LI has to monitor from ALP to LP(M), the LI needs to have a foot plate experience in mail trains. Presently many loco pilots engaged in ex-cadre posts like instructors, CRC/PRC obtaining performa promotions till LP(M) without foot plate experience should not be considered for promotion. In absence of volunteers from LP(M), LP(P) can also be considered for LI promotion considering the minimum experience in passenger carrying trains. An LDCE selection is to select an officer to a discipline comprising of different cadres like running, C&W and Loco sheds in case of an ADME. But a loco inspector is inspectorial cadre of loco running staff alone and so their foot plate experience has prominence above all other aspects.
NH Allowance
At present NMH allowance is paid with a ceiling of Rs.26,000/- to loco pilots. So it is demanded to pay NH allowance equal to a one day wage without any ceiling or allow to avail NH.
Income Tax Ceiling on KM Allowance
Income Tax ceiling on running allowance has not been declared by Finance Ministry and the old ceiling of Rs.6000/- on old rate of mileage allowance is available now. Since the present mileage rates does not cover the pay element and current TA rates there should not be any ceiling on the mileage allowance earned and to be fully exempted from calculation of income tax.
First Class EDP to ALP
On a regular basis for balancing of crew ALP and LP are moving from headquarters to outstations and vice-versa. At present second class emergency duty pass (EDP) are given to ALP’s and first class EDP given to LP’s according to their eligibility. Since these EDP’s are given at last moment and due to overcrowding of sleeper class coaches, ALP’s are not able to find accommodation to travel on duty for the purpose of railway work. Considering these factors the ALP’s should be given first class EDP so that there is some scope of getting some accommodation in higher class along with the LP as they are traveling to perform railway duty in short notice.



(M.N.Prasad)
Secy. General

Friday, November 13, 2009

SAFETY SEMINAR-
Paper prepared by V Mohan Kumar, LP Mail / Bangalore.

SAFETY- When it is pertains to any transportation industry means ‘THE PUBLIC SAFETY’ in totto. So Indian Railways too runs a mockery Department in name of safety, which normally comes under the traffic officers whose intention will be to run trains only.

Safety in any transportation industry comes into picture only when the wheels are moving. If the wheels are standstill there is no question of safety. So the wheels movement and the movers of the wheels (Drivers, Loco pilots, Air line Pilots etc) are coming at the pinnacle of safety. In Indian Railways they are the Loco Running Staff (Loco Pilots, Asst. Loco Pilots & Shunting Loco Pilots).

There are primary concerns of safety and secondary concerns of safety, which the Railway officials perhaps ignore or not understand. For example Effective brake power is required for stopping a train. But the brake power rules of Indian Railways say about the percentage brake power only. It does not say about the effective brake power. But when it comes to the reality the effective brake power (Which depends on the brake ri9gging, no. of brake blocks according to the wagon design, type of brake block, air brake or vacuum brake etc) is the primary concern of safety and the percentage brake power (which depends on the working of brake cylinders, brake pull rods etc) is only a secondary concern for safety. The primary safety concerns are neglected by the Railway top brass because of the obstinacy and corruption of some of them (There is a saying like an adage ‘Railway officers always like an ACCIDENT happen’ due to the huge un accounted/un audited money they can spend for the relief works etc with out any quotations/tenders or other legal formalities). Another reason fro their concentration on secondary safety concern is the huge commission or percentages of work cost. The new constructions and demolition works fetch them very good returns as percentage or commission (Another name for corruption). These are sayings that this commission is a flat 30% or more of the work cost). That is why Indian Railways is the only department internationally, whose thousands of construction/demolition works going on through out the 365 days a year. Here another example we will point out. Indian Railways collected around 18000 crores of rupees as safety surcharge from the public by increasing the ticket fare. The entire amount they spent for construction, demolition and modification works, where the percentage exists. But the fact if tired loco pilot sleeps on duty due to the 6th continuous night duty which is the product of the out dated HOER framed in British era, an accident is inevitable they neglected constructions/modification work will not prevent the accident at that time. This is the greatest fact which our Railway Administration ignores due to the un accountability at their part. The primary concerns of safety- the loco running staff are ignored totally in Indian Railways. The history starts from the out dated HOER framed in the British period.

The first thing is the duty hours. The safetiest category people , the loco running staff- who carries the lives of thousands of passengers with them have to work 12 or 13 or unlimited hours as per this HOER and Railway Board guidelines. Any common man can see the big unsafety in this. If a driver drives a vehicle continuously for 13 hrs or more will there be any safety. Then what will be the condition of the loco pilot who drives a train for 13hrs with out any food breaks like lunch break or supper break, suppressing the natural calls, with a continuous vigil and sustained attention. That too 365days in a year. (There are no calendar day rests or national holidays for the Loco Pilot). The Railway Administration hood winks the public by saying that “the 12hrs or more duty we force on the goods train Loco Pilots only, where passengers are not involved”. What a big lie!! They are going to implement (already implemented in some divisions) this 12 hrs of working in passenger trains also. Secondly if a goods train loco pilot is getting tired and passes a danger signal and rams into an express train?? The accident will kill hundreds of people. So the 12 and more hours of working whether it is for goods train or passenger train, gives the same effect-An Accident-which may kill hundreds with huge loss of nation’s revenue. The Railway officers are very dare to do anything detrimental to the public safety due to their unaccountability.( if any accident happens the Railway officers-who are the real causers of the accident-will wash their hands putting the responsibility on some poor class III employee). An example of their unaccountability happened in Hubli division of South Western Railway. 2 goods train Loco Pilots-who expressed their inability to work further due to fatigue created due to a 12 hours working including a night duty were REMOVED FROM SERVICE. Had they worked further it could have been a major accident. At that time also those Loco Pilots only would have been fixed telling that’ not asked relief after 12 hrs of working’. This is the best example of Railway Officers un accountability. Even if thousands of people killed also , the Railway officers SCOT-FREE with lakhs of crores of rupees unholy income from the accident relief works, In all the accident cases the public used to keep quite, since they are totally in dark about Railway working which adds the fuel to the Railway officers corruption. (Some public even goes to the extend of saying “Loco Pilots are getting good salary. Then why can’t they work.). This ignorance is there with the PEOPLES REPRESENTATIVES too why because they don’t understand the true nature of the Loco Pilots working, the risk they carry, the responsibility they shoulder. Against such a arduous /unsafe crew link, when the Loco Running staff stopped working in Trivandrum division/Palaghat Division the entire public turned against the Loco Pilots is an example of this ignorance. The reason for all these things is the out dated OER which was framed in the British period during the STEAM era. According to the HOER Loco Running Staff are classified as continuous. This classification was correct in stem period. Where there were sufficient rests of 3-4 hours in the duty itself for coal loading, watering etc. But present is the electric and diesel engines period. No rest with in duty. A continuous vigil/sustained attention is required. So the Loco Running staff must be classified INTENSIVE. This point the Railway officers neglect since the vacancy will increase. The ultimate truth is ‘the railway officers want to kill the people through accidents for the sake of few lakhs rupees which will be multiples of what they saved by their economy policy, which they neglect or welcome due to the unholy income they get.

The HOER kill the people not only by longer duty hours but there are other menaces too. The continuous 6 night working is one among them. When all other categories of Indian railways take a night rest after a night duty, the Loco Running staff who take the risk of safety of thousands of passengers have to work 6 continuous nights. (Even an Air line pilot takes the risk of 100 to 400 passengers on board only). What further required for the Railway officers sadist/Accident prone mentality. Since no Accountability on them, the punishment will go to some innocent class III employee, mostly a Loco running Staff in case of any accident. This fishing in troubled water mentality can be bridled only by the actions of the people’s representatives. Another paradox is that the RDSO (Railway Designs and Systems Organisation)-Railways Own Department- suggested that there should not be any continuous night duties after 3rd day since it will be harmful to safety. During a Loco Running Staff strike of Trivandrum/ Palaghat Divisions against the unsafe crew link, the DRM/TVC Sri Titus Koshy told the media ‘ Every crew link we made according to the HOER only. They are striking for their comfort’ What a big blunder!! He kept a big silence on two points1.When did the HOER frame.2. When the RDSO recommended only 2-3 continuous nights maximum in view of public safety. Why did he implement more night duties for the Loco Pilots.

The rest is a very big necessity for any drivers. But the Indian Railways still not realize it at all. The Loco Running Staff must work all the 365 days in a year with out any calendar rest or holidays. The periodical rests which should be clubbed with the normal head quarter rests are not given so. The different stresses developed in the mind will subside only during rest and is very very essential for a safe driving. Any body will understand that restless driving will jeopardize safety but not the Railway officers. The private/Public sector companies are forcing the employees to go for picnics. They even compel the employees to take minimum 1 month leave in a year, not for improving safety but to improve productivity, but the rests are abridged, leave and sick are denied(If a loco pilot reports sick for ill health, the DME or DRM will tell the Railway Medical Officer not to keep him in sick even though he is real sick) Sick may be mentally or physically. Kinds of stresses are the example of the former .Any loco pilot has to take rest when he has a stressful mind (may be due to leave denial, continuous night duties, inability to attend any functions etc) The Medical officers do understand this but the pressure from the administration prevents them. Everybody understands the thing. The purpose of rest whether head quarter or out station or periodical, given to the Loco running staff is for PUBLIC SAFETY, which our Railway officers dare to neglect and when they do so they are inviting an Accident. The location of the running rooms, its type of construction, dormitory type accommodation, the non-AC construction, the sub standard food they serve ….. are all examples for this. Even in training institute hostels they arranged double bedded rooms where safety is not necessary. The air conditioning of the running rooms and engine cabs is a must for safety due to the unbearable heat waves, smokes and dust. (When a motor car costs 2 lakhs rupees is air conditioned then why can’t they air condition an engine which costs crores of rupees)

The stress may develop in the mind due to several reasons. The insufficient pay and allowances is one among them. See the Air line pilots their duty is confined mainly on take off and landing. They take the risk of lives of a few hundred passengers only. But the Air line authorities are very particular to give them higher pay and allowances. They are taking rest in star hotels in view of safety with pick up and drop facility. This must be compared with the Indian Railways Loco Running Staff- who take the risk of thousands of passengers. The dirty running rooms and nasty food as they get. Every pay commission reduced their pay and allowances with a competitive spirit. But when it comes to the punishments-“they always get the capital punishments for even minor offences”. All these things create too much stress in the minds of the loco running staffs. When they work with this stressed mind there is no safety for the passengers. They cannot participate in any social functions, marriages, rituals other ceremonies. They have been denied from taking leave or sick. Working all the 365 days in a year no festivals or NHs, no calendar day rest. Their children are growing with out his control. Every thing he faces at his work place is adverse to his life. All these things are creating tremendous stress in his mind, derailing safety.


One more thing we must understand at this juncture. This is the era of terrorism here and there in our country. Any where they may do sabotages. A boulder on the track or a stem on the track is enough to kill hundreds. The reflex action of the Loco pilot is a must. Stress will decrease the reflex action in turn affecting safety.

So in general, every thing which affects the Loco running staff (mentally or physically) is connected to the Public Safety in Railways. That may be an ill health, continuous duty hours, continuous night duties, improper rest, substandard/dirty running rooms, poor loco ergonomics, leave denial, sick denial, poor health of his family members, severe unjust punishments, improper pay and allowances etc. All are detrimental to Public Safety. When we highlight all these things to the public and media they takes a blind eye to all these.

************

Annexure 1. A small work study sent to the CRB by AILRSA/SWR
2.The Article ‘Do it now or die’ published in FIRE magazine.
3.The article ‘ The long hood menace& some facts’ in FIRE magazine
Hubli branch BGM of this organization conducted on 7/11/2009 at our divisional committee office. The meeting was inaugurated by com Nishad K/DS/AILRSA/UBL and presided by com Shaiju E K. Com Donalraj D presented the report. To strengthen the organization, meeting has decided to elect new office bearers. The following comrades are unanimously elected.

President Com. Shaiju E K
Vice President Com. S Sargunanathan
Com. Y Sreedhar
Secretary Com. A K Dixit
Com. Mitilesh Kumar
Com. K D Joseph
Treasurer Com. A M Joseph
Asst treasurer Com. Anil Gokhale
Com. Girish C
BEC Members Com. Goplakrishnan
Com. R P Das
Com. Praveen G P
Com. Chiranjeevi Rao
Com. Amardeep kumar
Com. M C Meena
Com. M Hasninan
Com. Brijesh Kumar
Com. Rjeev R
Com. Anshuman Sarkar
Organising Secretary Com. Priyesh N V
Divisional office in charge Com. Sunil M and Com.santhosh S
Fire magazine conveners Com. Dhnajay Kumar and Com. Palash Ghosh
Fire magazine editor Com. Madhulal G.

Meeting has taken unanimous decision to conduct branch meeting every month and to represent running staff problems.
Mr. Guy Ryder
General Secretary
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)


10th November 2009


Dear Bro. Guy Ryder,

As you maybe aware on the current situation and the struggle of the State Railway Workers’ Union of Thailand (SRUT) for the Safety of Railway and against many serious issues attacked by the management of the State Railway of Thailand, the Transport Ministry and the Thai Government.

I am also attaching a fact sheet on the current situation and the fighting issues for your further information.

As an affiliate, SERC would like to request for your solidarity support by
- Sending the protest letters to Thai government, Transport Ministry and the SRT Governor, regarding on Safety Issue and any limitation on the basic rights of the trade union
- Coordinating and requesting for solidarity support from other ITUC affiliates, to send the protest letters to Thai government, Transport Ministry and the SRT Governor especially regarding on Safety Issue and any limitation on the basic rights of the trade union
- Any other support would be really appreciated, if possible.


We really hope to receive your solidarity support and looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

With best regards
Yours in Solidairity




Sawit Kaewwarn
General Secretary


CC: Mr. Noriyuki Suzuki, ITUC-AP
SRUT’s Struggle-Back ground

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you are aware that SRUT has started its action on 12 October by gathering and staying overnight on the street in front of the Transport ministry and submitting the demand letter to the government during its cabinet weekly meeting in order to get the real attentions from The Transport Minister and The Prime Minster on the recent train fatal accident that caused by the Fatigue of Locomotive Driver and the malfunctioned Safety System (Vigilance Device or so called Deadman system). But this action did not get attention from the Transport Ministry and the government or even from the Media as expected.
So the union had to upgrade its movement. Since 16 October, SRUT has requested the railway workers and its members throughout the country to join in the nationwide industrial actions to response to the irresponsibility and ignorance of its Railway management, Transport Ministry and the Government on the shortage of Railwaymen especially the locomotive driver and the safety standard of the railway operation. The nationwide industrial action started by slowing down work of Locomotive Drivers, Driver Assistants and Technicians and the action has been developed to work stoppage by taking voluntary sick leaves a few days later.
In response to the union action, the Government, Transport Ministry and Railway Governor has attacked the union hard by releasing the real nasty propaganda against the union, emphasizing that the accident was caused by human error only and insisting that the Vigilance device (safety system) is only a supplementary device for the railway safety and it is not important for the safety measure because the Locomotive driver, driver assistant are already there which is enough for the safety in driving the train. We all know that this is extremely wrong and purposely wrong information to the public and media. All modes of Transport must have the safety device and system and can not just rely on the human only. And now they, the government, transport ministry and railway governor, have joined hands together and announced to speed up the Restructuring Plan of the railway within 3 week-time.
There are all sorts of fault rumors that are causing misunderstanding among the public, these are a set up by management against the union. Some branch committee members were transferred immediately within 24 hours without any reasonable grounds. All the guilt and bad images were dumped on the union. The union was pushed to become a public defendant.
The Transport Minister, management and the government response to the union action by amending the related rules and regulations in order to recruit those 120 students newly graduated with no real experiences from Railway Engineering School and some 20 retired locomotive drivers to drive the train to replace those drivers and assistants who join the action with the union. This is extremely dangerous to every life concerned; they just don’t care the safety of passenger and workers but only want to defeat the union unreasonably.
Yesterday, The State Enterprise Workers’ Relation Confederation (SERC), comprising of unions in public services, transport, electricity, water supplies, energy, banks etc., and ITF Coordinating Committee of Thailand have read out their statements in the press conference and declared to the public that they will fully support the fight and struggle of SRUT. On coming 26 October, 43 SERC affiliated unions will meet together to discuss and set their strategic movement to help and support the SRUT struggles by all possible means.
This morning (22 October) SRUT’s committee went to the Crime Suppression Division, Office of Command, Thai Royal Police to file charges against the management on violation and not complying with the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was made with the union in year 2001, 2002 and January 2009. In the agreements which stated that they would fix, repair, and look into all kinds of maintenance in order to ensure the diesel locomotive, passenger cars, and other components of the train to be in ready condition before running the train. The management has never complied with these agreements until the latest fatal accidents occurred and blame only workers and when the workers refuse to drive the trains that are not in proper condition to run especially when concerning the safety devices, then the all fault will be again thrown on the workers and penalty would be instantly given to them.
Below are the issues that SRUT has been fighting against:
Safety Measures on Train:
No proper safety measure and device on 90 % of existing trains, not comply with the rule and regulations of The State Railway Act and the CBA made with the union on 14 August 2001, 4 December 2002 and 23 January 2009. In the agreements which stated that they would fix, repair, and look into all kinds of maintenance in order to ensure the diesel locomotive, passenger cars, and other components of the train to be in ready condition before running the train. The management has never complied with these agreements until the latest fatal accidents occurred and blame only workers and when the workers refuse to drive the trains that are not in proper condition to run especially when concerning the safety devices, then the all fault will be again thrown on the workers and penalty would be instantly given to them.
Mismanagement by the Governor:
The ignorance on safety measures for passengers and workers, corruption, violation on CBA made with union and only blames the workers when problems arise without acceptance the fact that the management themselves are at fault and have never so far accepted the fact that the trains are not in the condition to run.
Fatigue (Kills) of workers:
The shortage and limitation of the railway workforce which was the cabinet’s resolution, many drivers have to continuously work without proper rest.
Privatization:
The announcement by the government to speed up Restructuring Plan within 3- week time. But at the same time, the earlier agreement between the union and cabinet’s
representatives made after the latest nationwide strike in June, is still there. The agreement states that any changes or amendments in The State Railway that may affect the working conditions of railway workers must have the union’s involvement and consent before proceeding.
**********
THAI RAILWAY DISPUTE
A. Timeline of events
22 June 2009
The State Railway Workers' Union of Thailand (SRUT) successfully organises a strike action against the government's privatisation plan.
1 October
A passenger train in western Kanchanabhuri province is derailed following heavy rain.
3 October
A fatal rail accident in Hua Hin kills seven passengers and injures many. Apart from the old and underdeveloped train system, staff fatigue is believed to be the cause of the accident. The driver hadn’t had a rest day in the previous month.
4 October
A freight train carrying cement powder is derailed in the north of Bangkok. Based on the 1998 resolution by the cabinet, only five per cent of the 100 retiring staff are replaced annually. Furthermore, the government continues to pursue privatisation plans by setting up four sister rail companies, including the forthcoming Airport Rail Link in Bangkok.
12 - 13 October
SRUT mobilises its branch committee members throughout the country, and its workers in Bangkok's depots, maintenance factories and stations, to go to the Transport Ministry's office in protest at the recent fatal accident and the privatisation plans.
15 October
ITF Thai reports that the State Railway management is refusing to accept fatigue as the cause of the earlier fatal accident. It goes further, dismissing the train driver who was involved in the accident and cutting the salaries of the driver's assistant and the caretaker by 15 per cent for the next 10 months. The union claims that the main causes of the accident were staff shortages and long working hours in addition to budget cuts, old trains and mismanagement in the State Railways (SRT). In this particular case, the union says that the safety system (vigilance device or the so called the ‘deadman’ system) did not function.
16 October
SRUT steps up its campaign by calling its workers to participate in a national industrial action to demand the railway management, Transport Ministry and the government to redress the staff shortage, in particular of locomotive drivers, and to improve the safety standard in rail operation. Locomotive drivers, assistants and technicians start to slow down their work and work stoppages have developed by workers taking voluntary sick leave. The government, Transport Ministry and the rail management launch a counter media campaign to attack the union by releasing misleading information. They say that the safety system is only a supplementary device and that the driver and his assistant are on board to take safety measures during their duties. Furthermore, they jointly announce to that they will be speeding up the rail restructuring plan.
They are also recruit graduate students from the Railway Engineering School and retired locomotive drivers to break the strike.
21 October
The State Enterprise Workers' Relation Confederation (SERC), which brings together unions in public services, transport, electricity, water, energy, banking etc, and the ITF Thai Coordinating Committee release their statements in solidarity with the SRUT.
22 October
SRUT visits the Royal Thai Police (crime suppression division) to file charges against the rail management on violation and incompliance of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2001, 2002 and 2009, related to improvement in safety measures.
28 October
The ITF sends a message of protest to the Thai authorities and asks its affiliates to support the rail workers and its union in Thailand.
29 October
Unions including the JRU, FNCTTFEL and CAW send their protest letters.
ITF Thai reports that the police were called in to break up the work stoppage that started from 16 October in the Hat-Yai Branch, southern Thailand. It is believed to be one of the strongholds of the union. Six committee members of the Branch were then dismissed by the management. The rail management has also taken the union to court, demanding 70 million bahts for its loss of earning caused by the industrial action. It is believed that the top leadership of the SRUT at its headquarters in Bangkok will be dismissed very soon. ITF launches its Online Protest.
http://www.itfglobal.org/solidarity/thairail.cfm
30 October
ITF General Secretary writes to the Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, urging his intervention to stop the SRT from victimizing the union members.
http://www.itfglobal.org/files/extranet/-1/18438/StateRailwayUnionWorkersofThailand.pdf
SRUT, SERC and ITF Thai affiliates hold a rally in Bangkok to protest the news of possible dismissals of union leaders.
31 October
The union rally continues.
The SRUT says the Prime Minister has visited Hat-Yai and met with the 6 dismissed union committee members. He promises to meet with the SRUT national leadership on 2 November. The court has not issue arrest warrants of the union leadership as requested by the police before the end of the week. Meanwhile, the management suggests that they may dismiss another 18 unionists. Hundreds send their e-protest from the ITF site including those from Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and Yemen.
B. What are the key issues?
(1) Mismanagement by the State Railway’s Governor Yutthana Thapcharoen
He has failed to improve the safety measures on trains for passengers and workers.
The National Audit Office has pointed out corruption charges against him but the
government has done nothing and is effectively protecting him.
He has violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement by failing to implement safety
measures.
He blames the workers when problems arise, and has never accepted the fact that trains
are not in the proper condition to run.
(2) Safety Measures on Trains
90 per cent of existing trains do not comply with the rules and regulations of the State Railway Act and the CBA signed with the union on 14 August 2001, 4 December 2002 and 23 January 2009. In the agreements it was stated they would fix, repair, and look into all kinds of maintenance in order to ensure that the diesel locomotive, passenger cars, and other components of the train were in a fit state, before running the trains.
Presently, only 20 out of total 170 locomotive cars are equipped with a vigilance device (a safety system also called a 'deadman' control).
Once a fatal accident occurs, the management blames the workers and when the workers refuse to drive trains that are unsafe, they are penalized.
Rules and regulations in the railways were amended in order to recruit 120 graduate students from Railway Engineering School, who have no real experience, and some 20 retired locomotive drivers to drive the train to replace the strikers. This is extremely dangerous. We believe the management don’t care about the safety of passenger and workers and are simply trying to defeat the union.
(3) Fatigue kills the workers
The shortage in the railway workforce comes as a result of the cabinet’s resolution in 1998.
For this reason, many drivers have to work continuously without proper rest. Although they may be working eight hours a day, they cannot take rest days. For example, the driver who was involved in the accident had not had a rest day for a month.
The State Railways (SRT) cannot employ more than five per cent of those reaching the mandatory retirement age of 60.
(4) Privatization
The government recently announced it would be speeding up the restructuring plan to start within three weeks.
However, the earlier agreement between the union and cabinet’s representatives made after the last nationwide strike in June 2009 still exists. It states that any changes or amendments in the State Railway (SRT) that may affect the working conditions of the
railway workers must have the union’s involvement and consent in advance.
(5) Union Busting
The government, the transport minister and SRT management have been trying hard to attack and destroy SRUT and Thai union movement as a whole. Sawit Kaewwarn, the President of SRUT, is also the General Secretary of the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC).
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) has filed a case against the union, SRUT and its six top union leader. The Songkhla Provincial Court has issued a notice that prohibits the union from performing any industrial action or actions to obstruct the train services.
The names of the six leaders are:
1. Savit Kaewwarn, 2. Pinyo Rueanpetch, 3. Thara Sawangtham, 4. Banjong Boonnet, 5.
Liem Mokngam and 6. Sunanta-Sawangkaew (Mrs)
The government sent armed police to the “Hat Yai” Southern district, where the work stoppage still continues, to break the strike and force the drivers to drive unfit trains with improper safety system. The union’s actions are rather limited and are increasingly becoming more difficult because of the notice issued by the court. The union is trying to find other possible ways to move forward and fight for the safety and the future of the railways and defend the Thai union movement.
They are trying to reach out to the railway communities in various places and to explain the truth about the railways to them.

Monday, November 9, 2009

‘PUBLIC SAFETY-SOME THOUGHTS

“We do all the steps to improve safety” “18000 crores we spent for safety”……while platitudes are coming out from the Railway Managers and the recognized unions are reticent, the real workers laugh, but people do not, due to the ignorance. Railways made a mockery department too, in the name of safety, with an intention to camouflage. It will be headed by traffic officers only. (whose intention will be to run trains only whether safety is there or not, since they belongs to traffic)

Some of our persons do fight it alone, like Mr. P.U.Venkatesan of SBC Division with an improper view and way. ( He thinks the long hood working is the only nightmare. But whether it is long hood or short hood, a loco pilot, who could not concentrate on his duty due to lack of rest or tight crew link or continuous night will make an accident)

There are primary concerns and secondary concerns for safety. For example: Effective brake power and percentage brake power are different. First one is the primary reason and next is the secondary. If the brake cylinders are working and braking takes place percentage part is over. But the effective brake power depends on brake rigging, air brake or vacuum brake….like so many things. This great point is ignored by all, and in all cases they consider the secondary concerns for safety first.

Railway brought different categories under safety category label. This is not true. Only the Loco Running staff are the real safety category staff, why because their duty is directly proportional to safety where as others duties are inversely proportional. This already I explained before, but will explain once more. If a station master sleeps on duty, the trains will stop at both ends of his station- a 100% safety. But if a Loco Pilot sleeps in his duty, the result will be an accident.

The concentration on duty which is an elaborate subject with branches and branches connected together. Rest is very very important for concentration/sustained attention, but see how unscientifically and irrationally they made an HOER, how illogically they designed and located the running rooms. The hostels of the training institutions, where safety is not of much importance, are constructed with double bedded rooms with attached bath rooms. But the running rooms where safety plays the primary role are dormitories or cubicles with common toilets. Now look at their locations. They will be constructed near to the starters/ home signals with long long whistles of trains disturbing the rest every time. Here the solution is very simple; instead of blabbering ,make the running rooms Air conditioned with double rooms. (One example of idiocy I will tell. In Dharmavaram running Room in SCR there is a cubicled room. It has 4 room air coolers. Each cooler costs Rs. 7000/-. So the total cost is Rs. 28000/- .Daily watering and mosquito repellents are a must. But all these purposes could have met with a single split AC which costs only Rs 13000/-). All the bombasts – like AC is costly, AC is a luxury, only officers should enjoy it……. Are the products of cheap jealous or puerile thinking.

Come to the next serious point – THE HOER. When it was framed?! During the steam era, when watering and coal loadings where a must, which were taking minimum 3 Hrs or more. So the explanations for continuous duty (60 minutes or more rest within the duty with a chance to leave work spot) were suiting. But this is the era of AC & Diesel locos (with more fuel tank capacity). Now our duty is not coming under the purview of ‘CONTINUOUS’. There are no periods of inaction in our duty now. While stopping also you must concentrate on signals , Rolling stock, the gauges, rolling back etc. You don’t know when the signals will be taken off. You must be prepared to start the train at any time.(a sustained attention always). But alas, still your duty is continuous. You have to work 12-13 or more hours continuously. This is detrimental to ‘PUBLIC SAFETY’ which Rly Admn. Is neglecting en-tout. ( one rumour is there in, Rly circles. Some of our highlevel officers like the ‘Accidents happen’, due to the unaccounted / unaudited money they can spent for the relief works etc)

Next thing is the continuous 6 Night duty clause. Can anybody imagine about a safetiest category person working continuous 6 nights, that too when the RDSO- Indian Railway own concern – recommends less than 3 nights. When all other staff whose duty do not link directly with public safety are enjoying night rests after 2 consecutive night duties, we the safetiest category people, whose duty is directly linked with public safety, have to work 6 continuous nights. Any wise man will bewilder when hearing this. This is nothing but a dereliction at the part of the Rly Administration which is punishable too under Indian Penal Code Section 304 (Almost 80% of the Accidents findings point out an involvement of night duty). This is nothing but ‘adding insult to injury’ attitude to the public safety.

Now come to the Loco Cab design. The heat waves inside (one must remember in this juncture that a small car costs 2-3 lakh is air conditioned). the sound ……(while talking about air conditioning again the Cliche will start coming out from them “Running staff are not eligible for AC), the congested nature of the control stands unable to keep torch, rough journal etc are examples. The long hood menace & smoke/dust pollution comes next.

So generally we can say that ‘all the things which have a direct impact on the health of the Loco Running staff (mentally or physically) are the primary concerns or points of safety and they should be rectified first. Even the welfare of the family members of the loco Running staff will have an impact on public safety.(Any adversity will create stresses in the mind of the particular LP & he cannot deliver a safe driving).

Then comes the secondary reasons. Some years back Indian Rly collected almost 18000 crores of rupees from the public as a safety surcharge. The Admn utilized the money to strengthen the bridges, modifying signals , for laying tiles in running rooms (this they think ‘most essential for safety) etc. But what is the use of all these things if the Loco pilot is not able to deliver a fool proof working due to the primary concerns of safety.

When the Rly Admn. betrays us, they cheat none other than the public & public safety. The tight & still tight crew links(in the names of COM or Rly Bd), the extended crew links, the 4 days stay at outstations, the 6 continuous nights, the long hood, the present HOER, reduction of salary allowances (it gives tremendous discontent which leads to heavy mental stress finally leading to an unsafe working ) , denial of leave, sick etc ….. All have an impact on safety & detrimental to the Public Safety. This great point is disregarded by our Rly Admn. When we strike for a better crew Link they hoodwink the public by telling that “they do it for their pleasure and everything is according to the HOER ? ! ?”

The General Manager, the HODS, the DRMS ….. all get their T A for nil traveling expenses ( Food, Stay &travel are free for them while work on lunch programs) but they are jealous on our mileage which is earned from our hard work. Our work provides them their salary, allowances and pleasures. But they are callous. The insolent ‘what I do’ , ‘WHY I do’ attitudes does not solve the problems when safety is in disaster. The damages of one major accident will be equal to the entire savings they achieved during the past years cheating the Running staff or safety. This truth everybody should understand, whether patriotic or not.
When you do any mistake administration will give you capital punishments telling the safety aspects, telling the safety and responsibility you shoulder. But when it pertains to the remuneration-which you deserve- for the risk you carry, for the safety &responsibility, for the true nature of your work- they are least bothered and adamant; they will give you the least Grade pays, they will guilefully reduce your salary & allowances. Why this double dealing, that too when your life for the Railways, for the nation.
Tail Piece: When I was waiting this another accident haunted Indian Railways killing 22 persons and injuring as much. The reason may be a long sketch of working (COM link or GM link) or a 4th or 5th or 6th night or a stressed mind due to any reason.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Railways top list of corrupt Central Government departments
11/05/2009 -
Going by the number of officers trapped by the Central Bureau of Investigation, the railways are the most corrupt Central government department in Mumbai – and they’ve topped the list in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
This year so far, of the 26 people trapped by the CBI’s Mumbai unit, eight are railway staffers. Last year it was 6, in 2007 it was 10. Close behind the railways is the income-tax department, with 5 traps this year. The Customs and Central Excise – the second most corrupt department last year (with 5 traps) slipped to number three with 2 traps this year.
Two private individuals also made it into the list, one of them being former union home minister Buta Singh’s son Sarabjot, who was arrested in July for taking a bribe of Rs one crore from a Nashik-based municipal contractor.
Sarabjot had demanded a bribe of Rs 3 crore from the contractor to hush up a case against him. The CBI will file a chargesheet against Sarabjot this month, said Rishi Raj Singh, joint director, CBI, West Zone. Against the CBI’s 26 traps this year, last year saw 30 and 2007 recorded 18.
As part of the Vigilance Awareness Week from November 3 to 7, the CBI will visit 26 Mumbai colleges to create awareness among students to fight corruption.
The agency will also meet whistle blowers and representatives of various NGOs. Singh added that these NGOs will be requested to approach people on behalf of the CBI to spread the anti- corruption message.
He said the CBI will also talk to about 50 chief vigilance officers in various government departments in Mumbai. “We will tell them how to be vigilant in their own departments and how to approach us to pass information on corrupt staffers,” he explained.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ALL INDIA LOCO RUNNING STAFF ASSOCIATION
Regd. No. 17903 H/Q Yellow Building, P.O. Anara R.S. Distt. Purulia (W.B.) Pin 723126
Central Office : AILRSA BHAWAN, H.No. 333, Bhoor Bharat Nagar, Ghaziabad – 201001.
Tel. No. : 0120-2740025
L. Mony M.N.Prasad
Central President Secretary-General,
‘Devi Nilayam’, Kadavil Road, At:- Aravindapally,
P.O. Vyttila – 682 019, Kochi, Kerala. Post: Adra, Dist:-Purulia (WB)
Phone: 09446207312 Phone: 09434008950 E-mail mn.prasad@rediffmail.com
Ref: ……………… Date: 02.11.2009


To,
Sri,
Hon’ble M. P (Lok-Sabha / Rajya-Sabha)

Sir,
Reg: - Locomen Grievances.

The All India Loco Running Staff Association, is an Organization of Loco Pilots, Motorman and Asst. Loco Pilot of Indian Railways, who are maintaing the train services in Indian Railways all round the day & night in all the seasons and in all the area whether naxalite effected or terrorist effected taking the risk of their lives but always their genuine grievances have been ignored and made sufferer. Their service and working condition are being deteriated day by day which some times become the cause of an accident in the Railways.

The 6th CPC again done injustice to their Pay, running allowances etc. several representations at the different levels and at the different occasions have been made during last one year but in vain. Lastly the Association has decided to hold a rally following which, sit in Hunger for 24 hrs. on 25th / 26th Nov’ 09 from 11:30 hrs. on 25.11.2009 in order to draw the attention of Railway Administration

The Loco Running Staff of Indian Railway are very much deprived and dissatisfied, request you to take up the issue with Hon’ble Minister for Railways so that the genuine grievances are redressed.

I hereby also request your honour to address the rally on 25th Nov’ 09 at Jantra Mantra, New Delhi, confirmation may please be given to me.

I further request you to give me an appointment to meet you in New Delhi any day in-between 22nd Nov to 24th Nov’09 at your convenience to enable me to explain our grievances in person.

Expecting your help and assistance to solve our problems.

With thanks,

Your’s sincerely


M. N. Prasad
Secretary General
AILRSA

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