Friday, August 27, 2010

New Direct Tax Code: Pay less in taxes from April 2011
The Cabinet has cleared the Direct tax code and will be introduced in Rajya Sabha, and referred it to a select committee, during the monsoon session.
The new provisions under the Direct Tax Code are as follows:
• Tax for income between Rs. 2 lakh - Rs. 5 lakh: 10%
• Tax for income between Rs. 5 lakh - Rs. 10 lakh: 20%
• Tax for income over Rs. 10 lakh: 30%
The limit for exemptions for salaried people is Rs. 2 lakh, while that for senior citizens is Rs. 2.5 lakh.
Corporate tax has been kept at 30%.
The new Code comes into effect from April, 2011.
After the approval of the Cabinet, the decks are cleared for tabling the legislation in the Monsoon Session of Parliament so that the new Act ushering in reduced tax rates and exemptions may come into effect from next fiscal.
When enacted, the Code will replace the archaic Income Tax Act and simplify the whole direct tax regime in the country.
The Code aims at reducing tax rates, but expanding the tax base by minimising exemptions.
The Finance Ministry had earlier come out with a draft on the (Direct Tax Code) DTC bill, some of whose provisions drew strong criticism from industry as well as the public.
To address those issues, the ministry brought out the revised draft, dropping earlier proposals of taxing provident funds on withdrawal and levying Minimum Alternate Tax on corporates based on their assets.
"As of now, it is proposed to provide the EEE (Exempt-Exempt-Exempt) method of taxation for Government Provident Fund (GPF), Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Recognised Provident Funds (RPF) ...", the revised DTC released by the Finance Ministry said.
The revised draft also puts pensions administered by the interim regulator PFRDA, including pension of government employees who were recruited since January 2004, under EEE treatment.
The first DTC draft had proposed to tax all savings schemes including provident funds at the time of withdrawal bringing them under the EET (Exempt-Exempt-Tax) mode.
Under the EEE mode, the tax exemption is enjoyed at all the three stages - investment, accumulation and withdrawal.
The earlier DTC draft had proposed to reduce the corporate tax to 25 per cent from the present 30 per cent. The revised proposal has also made it clear that tax incentives on housing loans will continue. Payment on interest on housing loans up to Rs. 1.5 lakh will continue. The earlier draft was silent on housing loans.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

‘Snehapookalam’ in the Guiness Book

Aug 21, 2010
‘Snehapookalam’, a joint venture of Kozhikode District Administration and District Tourism Promotion Council has found its way to the Guinness book of World Records as the world’s biggest floral carpet.

Spread over a massive 17, 622 square feet, the carpet was made with creativity supported by 25 artists. The carpet had set a world record. The previous record was set in 2008 at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium at Ernakulum, where Kerala Police prepared a ‘Jana Maithri pookkalam’ over 12000 square feet.The carpet was made with seven kinds of flowers representing 7 continents taking 2 hours and eight minutes.
For making on the spot assessment of the function, officials from the Guinness book of world records and Limca book of world records were present. As many as 14,500 kg flowers were used including Chrysanthemum, Chethi, vadamalli, and Dalia brought from Thovala. The attempt was led by 72 group leaders,Kozhikode :Marking a model for religious harmony and universal brotherhood, the biggest floral carpet `Snehapookkalam’ was laid with 15 tones of flowers. Fragrance filled the air at Swapna Nagari on Saturday as an army of 1,000 people, including 500 students, created the world’s biggest ‘Pookalam’ (floral carpet), to get into the Guinness book of records.
Frequent flyers on Mamata’s behalf
Published: Monday, Aug 23, 2010, 23:00 IST

By DNA | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
In Mamata Banerjee we have the ultimate immovable object. Whether it’s her stance on Maoist leader Azad’s killing — where she became a major embarrassment for the Congress party –— or her unwillingness to step out of West Bengal to run the Indian Railways, she won’t budge.
This dogged stubbornness has been useful all these years, when the Left Front appeared to be equally unshakeable from power, but not now, when her inflexibility has been costing the government a lot of money. Replies to an RTI query show that it has cost the exchequer over Rs11 lakh to lug railway ministry papers back and forth between Delhi and Kolkata.

That’s chickenfeed for a ministry that spends in thousands of crores, but it’s not something to be sniffed at for a minister who wears her common woman status on her pallu.
It’s, of course, a tribute to her political longevity that while the Tharoors of the world get bashed up verbally for making casual comments on cattle class travel, Mamata has avoided ridicule despite giving her files a feudal ride. In the last 14 months that she has been railway minister, five government employees have been jetting it up and down from the Raj’s old capital carrying the memsahib’s files.
Someone should have told her that in this digital age, where files travel at the speed of light in electronic form, there’s no need for to-ing and fro-ing.
Monday, Aug 23, 2010
Collision between trains averted
Ananya dutta
KOLKATA: A major train accident was averted at Sankrail station in West Bengal's Howrah district on Sunday as two trains coming in opposite directions on the same line stopped just short of a collision. The incident that occurred about a month after the July 19 train collision at Sainthia that claimed over 60 lives was followed by violent protests at Sankrail station with passengers vandalising the Station Master's cabin and damaging the signalling equipment.
Around 3.20 p.m., Howrah-bound East Coast Express from Hyderabad and a local train found themselves on the same track at the station. The trains had come within 200 metres of each other before they came to a halt, said Soumitra Majumdar, Chief Public Relations Officer of South Eastern Railway. The station had three lines, of which one had a reversible signalling system where both up and down trains can pass.
“The signal had been so arranged that the two trains were to have passed through different lines. The local train was supposed to have waited outside Sankrail station and after it stopped, East Coast Express would have crossed over to the down line,” Mr. Majumdar said. Prima facie it appeared that the driver of the local train, R. Khan, “overshot the passing at danger signal,” Mr. Majumdar said. After the trains stopped, Mr. Khan tried to take the train back. He has been suspended. Infuriated passengers went on a rampage complaining of negligence by the authorities.
While Mr. Khan was immediately suspended, an inquiry into the incident will look into “all angles,” Mr. Majumdar said.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

AILRSA Pune divisional organisational meeting will be held at Priyadharsini Hotel, MIRAJ on 25.08.10 from 10 hours. Secretary General Com. MN Prasad, Bobay Divisional Secretary Com. Badgujar,Com. PCL Pathy, Com. VB Kalawant, Com. VIjayan will attend.
Railways likely to install automatic doors in trains
Kumod Verma, TNN, Aug 19, 2010, 03.47am IST
PATNA: The railways is mulling over a proposal to install automatic door closing system in all mail and express trains with an aim to prevent mishaps on running trains. The new system will be on the pattern of Metro train doors which have automatic door system from safety point of view.

According to a Railway Board official, the railway ministry has taken this proposal seriously. It would be more safe to introduce it in long-distance super fast trains to ensure foolproof safety to passengers. Besides, the new system would also curb criminal activities on running trains, he said.

The Board official told TOI that passenger trains which run at high speed in foreign countries, have the automatic door closing system in each bogie. Similarly, the Metro trains running in the country are provided with this kind of system from passengers' safety point of view. Thus, this proposed system is likely to check mishaps and criminal activities as well on running trains, he said.

A technical expert of the railways admitted that the railways would have to replace all old model and conventional coaches across the country so that new coaches based on German technology could be manufactured providing automatic door closing system facility in each mail and express train. At a time when the railways has been planning to increase the speed limit of all super fast trains in future, it would be mandatory for the railways to ensure closure of doors of each coach before departure of trains from stations.

It is possible only when the railways prefers to switch over to new technology, he said. According to a recent survey carried out by the railways, it has come to light that most of mishaps or criminal activities have of late occurred at different places because doors of bogies were kept open during night too.

Several passengers had fallen down from running trains which caused their death on tracks. The railways has thus mooted a proposal to introduce this system as a giant step towards ensuring safety measures on running trains on the pattern of foreign railways, a Board official said.

According to sources, the railways has been paying adequate compensation in most of the cases to the families of victims who fell down from running trains. That apart, it has become almost a habit for passengers to remain standing at doors while undertaking journey by trains. Once the automatic door system is introduced, safety would automatically become foolproof for passengers, sources said, adding the railways will have to incur substantial expenditure for manufacturing automatic door coaches with the help of new technology.

Read more: Railways likely to install automatic doors in trains - Patna - City - The Times of India

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Plight of loco pilots

Have anyone heard about authorities demanding death certificate when an employee failed to attend duty due to his father's death. A loco pilot recently had such a misfortune. The father of a loco pilot, having more than 23 years of service in the Salem division, died when he returned from duty. The loco pilot immediately called the office to intimate the death news. When he reached the office after a week, completing all rituals, to his astonishment he found that he was marked absent in the attendance register. When he enquired about this, his head asked him to produce a death certificate. There are strict orders from the divisional manager not to grant leave to loco pilots. So the head was helpless.

There are 14,000 vacancies of loco pilots across the country. The railway is now running services burdening the existing staff with over work. Two months back when relatives of a loco pilot, running in Palakkad division, informed about his father's death to the division, the division officer did not pass on the death news to the loco pilot as they knew that if he returns from duty, there would not be anyone to operate the train. He came to know about the death news of his father only after he returned from duty. When he reached home after 10 hrs of journey all rituals were completed.

When loco pilots, who were forced to do duty for continuous 6 nights in a week, doze off for a minute, it results in major disasters. The Railway security commissioner had given instructions that no loco pilot would be given duty continuously for 2 days. Most of the accidents happen between 2 am and 6 am. Railway Research Development and Standards organization had recommended duty change between 2 am and 6 am. If this recommendation is implemented, then loco pilots must be appointed in a war footing. When summer and winter special trains begin service, loco pilots are forced to attend duty fearing disciplinary action.

The cabin where loco pilot's work is also in a pitiable state. Many of the cabins do not have proper seat. The railways had not made any attempt to provide adequate drinking water and toilet facilities.

No leaves are allowed even for headaches or fever. The ailment would be examined by railway doctors and they have to continue with their work. Railway doctors are strictly instructed not to grant leave. The Southern Railway has vacancies for 512 posts. As per the rule of the Railway, 30 % of loco pilots must be kept in reserve and the rest 70% be given duty. But as 20 % of posts are lying vacant the whole of them are forced to do duties.

There is another rule which states that every three years the loco pilots must renew their competency certificate after a refresher course. Earlier, the competency certificates were sent regularly after 2 years and 9 months but it is not regular. As driving without licence, many are operating trains without competency certificates. The employees in the lower strata are blamed for any accidents.
No end to rail woes

When trains ply irrespective of days and nights, no railway gates or gatemen guard the 16,976 level crossings. Such incidents become news only when there are casualities. Sometimes trains ply on wrong tracks, sometimes with no proper signals and sometimes through faulty lines. Except railway officials, none would have any knowledge about it. Like vehicles plying on roads, the train driver alone cannot be held responsible for averting accidents. It needs the unified act of loco pilots, guardsman, station masters and gate keepers. Lack of unity among them pave way for accidents in majority of cases.

As a first measure to avert accidents, the railway safety commission had repeatedly asked appointment of gatemen by fixing gates at unmanned level crossings. Without paying heed to such needs, every year the railways are trying to cut short the number of staff. There are 14,06,000 employees working in the railways having 63,327 km of rail line. In China there are 20, 67,000 employees working for 63,637 km line. The railway is not able to utilize the existing resources too.

The long queues at ticket counters during morning and evening time is a common sight. Not able to purchase tickets even after the train reaches the stations, travelers are forced to board ticketless. Checking staffs book and fine them. There are specified targets to be met for each checking staff like Rs 50,000, Rs 37,000 or Rs 34,000. One who meets the target would be given special gifts. Recently railways punished a checking staff who failed to meet the target. But the Central Administrative Tribunal quashed the order asking under what basis the target was fixed?

As per the advise of management experts in railways, the number of staffs had been pruned so as to increase the profit.The railway safety fund was formed in 2001 to set up manned level crossings and appoint gatemen. But the railways had not spent the fund being given by the centre as Rs 2316 crore was lying unused for security measures. In its report, the CAG came down heavily against the railways for its failure in utilising the security fund.
Gatemen given extra work of Pointsman

When the gateman of Kozhikode Thekkodi level crossing, near the Thikkodi station, was given additional charge of pointsman, the railway was able to cut short an employee. But it also guaranteed a shortage in the security of travelers.

The gatemen here, after closing the gate, had to run all the way to the station, 400 meters away, to give signal to the train. After the train passes he has to run back to open the gate. It is the job of pointsman, sweeper-cum-porter. The pointsman who worked here was transferred.

The demand to fix duty hours of gatemen to 7 hours has been raised for years. For special class gates the working hours is for 8 hours. The same is being implemented in the special class of Thiruvananthapuram division but not in Palakkad division. When the working time is fixed at 8 hours, the railway would have to appoint 88 new gatesmen. Without appointing pointsman in more than 100 vacancies, the railway is giving extra work to gates man
Beware! railway is sleeping

When train accidents keep increasing at an alarming rate in the country, there are 86,108 posts lying vacant in the railway security section. The vacancies are in the running staff section like loco pilot, station master and opertaing staff sections. The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) have recommended filling up of all posts directly relating to security.

Due to shortage of sufficient staff, the employees are having a miserable time doing overtime duties, denial of leave and rest. The All India Loco Running Staff Association had also informed that they are losing attention due to over work. The railways have cut short the number of carriage and wagon staff who check mechanical and engineering works. There were many in almost all stations but now they are being appointed only in major stations. The CAG also reports that the railways are operating 223 engines that were recommended to be abandoned. Here begins an investigation into the functioning of the largest public sector undertaking in the country.

Two major train accidents recently in railway minister Mamata Banerjee's own land have shaken the faith of many undertaking train journeys. On July 19, 63 people were killed as the train collided at Sainthia in West Bengal. On May 18, Jhaneswar Express derailed at Midnapore resulting in the death of 148 travelers. In January, 10 people were killed when trains collided due to bad weather in UP.These are some of the accidents that happened in the country this year. Preliminary reports suggest that the reason behind all these were human error. But if one digs deep into the history of railways, they will get a clear understanding that the poor employees are not to blamed.

The railways are functioning across 64,099 km rail line. Out of this, only 18,000 kms are doubled. As per `Vision 2020' presented by Mamata in the parliament, by the year 2020, 30,000 km would be doubled and she also hoped to reduce accidents within 10 years.

During 2001-02, there were 415 accidents and it has been reduced to 177 during 2008-09 period. In 2004-05, rail traffic was blocked for 1692 hours due to accidents but in 2007-08 it had increased to 4381 hours. Though the railways claim fewer accidents, the country stands first in accidents. There are strict rules that only 80% of the maximum capacity of railway lines must be used. But that is above 80% in 220 sections, including Shornur-Mangalore, Delhi-Howrah, Mumbai-Howrah, Delhi-Mumbai, Howrah-Chennai, Mumbai-Chennai. In 145 sections it reached upto 120%. With the rail capacity going above 100%, disaster is imminent . During such circumstances a small mistake from the loco pilot or guard may create a major disaster.

In foreign countries, trains are being regulated by advance signaling technology. To prevent train collisions, Anti-Collision Devices have been installed. But here the decade-old system formulated by the British in 1851 still continues. In the post-accident reports, the railway safety commissioner and the judicial commission had recommended major changes. But months after the accidents, the railways are not giving importance to it and are trying to pass on the buck to the loco pilots, guards or station masters. Though the investigative report vouches for changes in the service rules, enabling an employee for faultless work, the railways have adopted a deaf ear to all these.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reply Given to Com.P Rajeev MP by Sri Muniyappa

There are approximately 7190 vacancies of loco pilots and 89024 vacancies in safety categories on Zonal Railways as on April 01, 2009.

Loco pilots on Indian Railways are classified as 'Continuous' and are statutorily required to work for 54 hours a week on an average, in a two weekly period of 14 days. The rostered hours of this category of employees has, however, been fixed at 104 hours in a two weekly period of 14 days including preparatory and complementary time.

As per extant instructions, running duty at a stretch should not ordinarily exceed 10 hours from departure of the train and overall duty should not exceed 12 hours from 'signing on' to 'signing off' except in emergent circumstances like accidents, floods, agitations, equipment failures etc.

For coaching trains, crew links are prepared which comply with the provisions of Hours of Employment Regulation (HOER) as stated above.

Passenger trains are normally run by loco pilots (passenger). However, in exceptional situations suitable loco pilots (goods) are deployed, to work in passenger trains.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today on 12/08/2010.
SWR's Hubli division freight earnings up

Our Bureau

Mangalore, Aug. 16

The Hubli division of the South Western Railway (SWR) zone recorded freight earnings of Rs 1,017.97 crore in the first four months of the current financial year as against Rs 797.8 crore in the corresponding period of previous year, registering a growth of 27.6 per cent.

Quoting Mr Praveen Kumar Mishra, Divisional Railway Manager, Hubli Division, a press release said here that the originating freight loading up to the end of July was 10.31 million tones, 0.7 per cent more than the corresponding period of last year.

Despite volatility in the demands of iron ore in international market and no loading of iron ore at Bellary Iron Ore Pvt Ltd and Oblapuram Mining Corporation due to legal issues, the freight earnings achieved up to July has been Rs 1017.97 crore (Rs 797.8 crore), the release said.

During April-July period, Hubli division registered a growth of over 6.35 per cent in the number of passengers handled, and an increase of 6.25 per cent in the passenger earnings.

Mr Mishra said that the gross earnings of the division stood at Rs 1,089.06 crore (Rs 864.49 crore) during the period.

Works completed

Stating that Hubli Division is one of the highest revenue earning divisions on Indian Railways, he said that despite several constraints the performance of the division up to the end of July has been satisfying.

Works such as Bellary bye-pass line construction and strengthening of Kulem and Sankaval stations on iron ore route have been completed, and three private sidings at Ranjitpura and Kudatini have been commissioned, he added.

The release said that Mr Mishra was speaking at the Independence Day celebrations in Hubli on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dear Locomen,
As a result of our continuous agitational programmes for the past two years and Mass NH agitational call by Joint Action Forum of Mumbai on Jan 26th 2010, Fast Tract Committee was constituted. This FTC has submitted its report on June 14th. FTC report has not analysed the grievances of Loco Running Staff. It is prepared with preoccupied mind to fulfil their ill motives. They have not accepted any of our justifications. FTC is misinterpreting the facts and denied justice to entire Loco Running Staff.
It is known to all that the Joint Committee formed earlier in 2008 to decide the Rate of Running Allowance and percentage of Pay Element. In its report on 25th Nov. 2008, one of the officials, Sri. D.M. Goutham, EDPC-I has made his signature with a dissent note on the continuance of the 30% of pay element. The same officer is the convener of this FTC. Hence our apprehensions become true. He has advanced wrong calculations too. The table provided on page 7 of FTC report is unwarranted and beyond their terms of reference. Further many other staff including Railway Officers has got such increase in emoluments even more than the Running staff. FTC is not ready to reveal such comparisons in all fairness. In the same table, Running Allowance is calculated as doubled w.e.f. 1.1.2006. But the fact remains that the same was doubled only from 01.09.08 as per Railway Board order. The annual expenditure due to doubling of rate of KMA shown in FTC and the figures shown by the same EDPC-1 in the Joint Committee are different.
FTC tried to justify that 6th CPC has correctly decided the grade pay to Running Staff. FTC with grate difficulties found that Children Education Allowance Rs.2000 per month and Transport Allowance are given to Running Staff. When both the benefits are very common to entire Central Government employees, FTC camouflaging the fact as if it is given to Running Staff only.
Further, FTC shirked from its responsibility and said Gradepay and additional allowance to Running Staff is on the agenda of Departmental Anomaly committee (DAC)
The Joint Committee, 2008 was on the assumption of doubling of TA rate made the running allowances rate as doubled. But later, TA rate was raised more than three times. The FTC concealing these facts, but now advancing a new concept that the percentage of pay element and rate of running allowance are combined as a package and denied our rightful demands on the rate of running allowance.
The just demands of motormen for ALP/ single handed allowance or different mode of computation of mileage in suburban working were not accepted by FTC.
The stepmotherly attitude of Federations towards the Running Staff further compounded the adverse report by FTC negating our serious struggles for the past two years.
The Govt resolution published through the gazette notification dt. 29/8/08 fixed one year term to redress the anomalies on the implementation of 6th CPC. Even after the lapse of two years none of the anomalies so far get redressed and the Federations also not made any endeavour and struggles to compel the Govt. to redress the anomalies in a fixed time frame set by them. This lethargy still continued to form a Judicial Review Committee on HOER as agreed on 15.02.2006 in JCM. Alas! the power of JCM!! On this background only Mumbai agitation erupted. Even after this historical agitation, the federations failed to honour and respond to the feelings of Loco Running Staff. Rather, these federations acted in an egoistic manner, not in the true spirit of Trade Union, decided not to associate with FTC exclusively for Loco Running Staff and the golden opportunity was deliberately missed. This betrayal by the Federations towards Loco Running Staff cannot be forgotten by every Loco Running men and it is a historic blunder in the annals of Trade Union history.
The convenor of FTC, EDPC-1 is also one among the important officers in decision making in DAC, being so, the anomalies will automatically get redressed in DAC as put forth by the Federations is nothing but illusion. Unless and until we unitedly raise our voice and involving ourselves whole heartedly in the struggles will only yield desired results.
Further the Railway Board officials present before RLC/ New Delhi on 25/6/10 stated that “the recommendations of the FTC is put up before appropriate forum of the Raliway Board and the matter will be examined at a larger forum to see that it gives satisfaction to the large no. of Railway employees.”
In this scenario, it is decided to convene Regional Conventions at seven places all over Indian Railways and a National Convention to mobilise large number of Running Staff to prepare for struggles. Our Southern region (SR, SCR, SWR and VSKP division of ECOR) convention will be held on 3rd August at Vijayawada.
Hence this Association calls upon every one to associate with the struggles to achieve our rightful demand and muster your strength of Vijayawada.


Stn. Chennai, Dt. 27/7/10 AILRSA, Southern Region
Railways short of drivers, yet doesn't use all the ones it has
Srinand Jha, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, August 10, 2010
Derailments and collisions are a regular hazard for the Railways and its passengers. Most are blamed on human error — mistakes by drivers, who often plead fatigue. Case in point, the July 19 Uttar Banga-Vananchal Express collision in Bengal that left 63 people dead. With a shortage of 17,000 drivers, fatigue is a big problem for the Railways. Yet, this crunch isn't for lack of qualified personnel. It's because many drivers work less stressful jobs as peons and chauffeurs of their seniors. And, they continue to get the pay, perks and promotion opportunities reserved for drivers.
Called 'absentee' drivers, they are trained and recruited as drivers but a majority of them have never set foot inside a train engine. Random investigations in the Delhi and Ghaziabad divisions by HT revealed a list of 30 drivers who have remained in stationary jobs while continuing to get promotions.
Across 16 railway zones, the number of such drivers is estimated to be 3,000- 5000.
According to Railway Ministry spokesman Anil Kumar Saxena, drivers can be medically de-categorised and placed on stationary assignments, but aren't eligible for promotions.
The rules also provide for deployment of drivers in stationary jobs on three-year deputation (extendable to five). On completion of this period, they are required to go back to the line for an equal period.
"Senior officers make non-productive use of their services, all at government expense."
HT tracked down three 'absentee drivers'.
"Drivers have a 24x365 schedule. They are cut off from society; their overtime dues remain pending. It is a rotten life. I am happy in a stationary job," said Narendra Kumar.
Sanghbir Singh had a similar argument: "Being a driver is no good for the family. There are huge problems in the Railways." Loco inspector P C Gupta has been on stationary duty since 1986. Said he: "There are many people like me. Go ask them, why pick on me?"
Notice for CWC Meeting following with national Convention

1. As we have decided in last CWC Meeting the National Convention of Loco Running Staff will be held at Kalyan in Mumbai Division of Central Railway on 31st Aug’ 2010 from 9:00 hrs. The CWC members, Zonal Committee members, Branch Secretary and President along with other members of Loco Running Staff must attend, so, that we can decide our future course of action, if our demands remain unsolved. All the attending members are requested to reach at Kalyan latest by night of 30th Aug’ 2010, so that meeting will start in time.

2. The CWC meeting will be held one day before i.e. on 30th Aug’ 2010 from 15:00 hrs to discuss the matter related to National convention at Kalyan only. All the CWC members must reach at Kalyan accordingly.

3. The Zonal Secretary are requested to send this notice to all concerned in their respective Zones and ensure the success of this convention.


A mammoth protest dharna was organized before the Divisional Office Salem against the atrocities and anti labour activities of the new Sr.DEE/OP/SA Mr.V.K.Manoharan by the Divisional Committee of AILRSA/SA/DVN. The first among the worst and innumerable modification which he emphasizes as that followed in his parent Division Nagpur from which he was being transferred was the forcible eviction of the posted CCRC/ED after giving a verbal posting for the LI to handle the post of CCRC at the verge of extreme shortage of LIs, after harassing the existing CCRC through a lot of ways, even though his tenure lasts for another year. The mass dharna was inaugurated by Com:R.Elenkovan [WP/DREU] and was addressed by Coms: K.A.S.Mani [CVP/AILRSA], R.S.Pandian [Ex.ZS/SZ/AILRSA], P.Vijayakumar [ZVP/SZ],M.M.Rolly [COS/AILRSA], K.C.James [CJnt.SG/AILRSA], C.Sunish[GS/ AILRSA/SWR], GeomyGeorge [GS/AILRSA/SZ], C.Mureugesan [GS/DREU/SA], C.T.Shaji [Dvn.Secy/AILRSA/PGT] M.Vinod [BS/AILRSA/PGT], V.R.Prakash [Ex.Z.Asst.Secy/AILRSA/SZ], B.Chandaramanokar [BP/AILRSA/ED], Soundara Pandian [AILRSA/ED],which was presided over by Com:G.Subramanian [Org.Secy/AILRSA/SA].The dharna was started at 10:00 Hrs and came to an end at 14:30Hrs with a strong decision to follow up the future course of actions if the assurances bore no fruit within the time frame .
All are being welcomed by Com:T.Pushparaj [Secy.AILRSA/SA] and a vote of thanks was delivered by Com:P.S.G.Prakash [BS/AILRSA/ED].Latter a delegation lead by Com:Elankovan. K.A.S.Many and R.S.Pandian met the respected DRM/SA and all the matters of our anguish were being deliberated before him and he assured amicable settlement for all our demands and assured that all tenure posts will be maintained as per the existing status quo and will call for the post of CCRC/ED from among Loco Pilots within a period of 15 days, since the existing CCRC/ED requested to relieve him from the post.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


The central working committee of All India Loco Running Staff association has conducted the Locomen’s South Regional Convention at Vijayavada on 03.08.10 at Tadikonda Ramulu Kalyana Mandapam, Poornandampet. The convention is preceded by a mass rally – procession by large number of Running Staff from the convention hall Railway station – DRM Offices.
The convention was inaugurated by Com. P. Madhu, ex M.P. Com. T. Hanumaiah, All India Vice President presided the convention. Com. L. Mony, All India President and many other central committee and Zonal committee leaders attended the convention. Many prominent leaders from sister trade unions and Passenger Association have attended the convention. Com. A. Janakiraman, General Secretary, DREU, Southern Railway has given the key note address.
Protesting against the injustice done to their pay and allowances by 6th pay commission, the Running staff all over Indian Railways had conducted a series of agitations, which ultimately culminate in the Running Staff nation wide hunger strike and Motormen strike at Mumbai, resulting in stoppage of train service on 03rd and 04th May 2010. The Central Government and the Ministry of Railways were brought to their knees and the agitations were called off, only on the assurance that the demands of Running Staff will be resolved through the Fast Track Committee(FTC). Though the FTC has has published its report on 5th june 2010, it has turn down all the demands of Running Staff.
In this circumstance, the central working committee of AILRSA is conducting the Locomen’s Regional Conventions at 7 places all over India and a national convention at Mumbai on 31.08.2010 to mobilize large number of Running Staff and to prepare for serious struggles to achieve the demands. Vijayavada Regional Convention was jointly conducted by the Zonal Committees of Southern Railway, South Central Railway, South Western railway and Divisional Committee of Visakhapatnam of East Coast Railway.
A large number of Running Staff from various places like Chennai, Erode, Madurai, Trivandrum, Ernakulam, Palghat, Hubli, Mysore, Bangalore, Vishakapatnam, Guntakal, Renigunta, Guntur, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Nanded, Rajamundry, Bitragunta and Vijayavada were participated in the convention. All through the programme, the participants raised slogans in support of the demands and redressal of their grievances such as 1) Review the age old inhuman Hours Of Employment Regulations (HOER) by constituting a judicial Committee, 2) Allot the Grade Pay of Rs. 2800 for Assst Loco Pilots, 3) Consider the functional differences between the , various categories and allot Rs. 4200 for LP (Shg), Rs. 4600 for LP (Goods), Rs. 4800 for LP (Passenger) and Rs. 5400 for LP (Mail) as Grade Pay, Review the miscalculated Running Allowance and grant according to the Running Allowance Committee 1980 formula, and 5) Withdraw the new Pension Scheme.
The convention ananimously resolved to support the struggles of Running Staff for the just pay, allowances and humanity. It also resolved to take the struggle to the logical end and even to go for stoppage of work to achieve the just demands of Running staff.
1) The convention urges the Railway Board to upgrade the Grade Pay of Asst.LP, LP(Shg), LP(Pass) and LP(Mail) to Rs.2800, Rs.4200, Rs.4600, Rs.4800 and Rs.5400 respectively as sufficiently justified by our various memoranda to 6th CPC and vSarious authorities.
2) The President of India has ordered to grant 30% of Basic Pay of Running Staff as Pay Element in Running Allowance and is incorporated in IREC and IREM. Since 1981, a scientific study on the subject was made and statute is made, the Running Allowance rates was used to revise at every at every occasion of revision in Basic Pay and TA rate applying the well studied and time tested formula put forth by RAC 1980. Discarding of the Presidential orders and the RAC 1980 formula is arbitrary. So we demand the revision of Running Allowance rates based on RAC 1980 formula and should be given with effect from 01.01.2006.
3) Onerous pay to be extended to all categories of Running Staff.
4) Recent train accident at Sainthia in West Bengal has caused to bring the ill fated and vulnerable working condition of the Loco Pilots to public debate. This voice was voicing against the redundant HOER forcing the Loco running Staff to semi slavery. Now Railways are pulling on with 18% vacant sanctioned posts in Loco Pilot category while the actual requirement is 10% to 20% more than the posts sanctioned based on the existing inhuman HOER. The Administration is now running the threat of disciplinary action using the outdated HOER. This convention demands to take action on war foot to fill up the vacancies and also to appoint the judicial committee to review the HOER with 8 hours duty, calendar day weekly rest, limiting the night duty to two in a week, etc as agreed by the Railways in 2006.
5) The representatives of the Railway Board has submitted before the RLC, New Delhi on 25.06.2010 that, the Railway Board will take a decision on the above demands to the satisfaction of Running Staff within 45 days from 25.06.2010. The entire Loco running Staff is eagerly waiting for the decision from the Railway Board to be submitted by the Railways on 20.08.2010 before RLC/ NDLS. This convention is expressing the will and desire for just pay and humane working condition and resolves to resort for using the final and ultimate weapon of direct action, if warrented.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Delhi, Aug 1 (PTI) Railways have decided to introduce air conditioning facilities in locomotives to reduce fatigue level of loco pilots and improve their efficiency. The decision comes in the backdrop of a host of safety-related features being planned by Railways, which is yet to recover from the Sainthia train accident on July 19 that claimed 66 lives. According to a Railway official, the move to air condition the cab area inside the locomotives was deliberated at length and there was unanimity in adopting it keeping the interest of loco pilots in mind. There was a greater realisation of the fact that the loco pilots are working in extreme weather conditions of heat, humidity and dust prevalent across the country, he said. "Railway Board therefore decided for provision of air conditioning in cabs of both electric and diesel locos which are going to be manufactured in future and also on those already in service," he said. According to reports, 75 to 80 per cent of the rail accidents have been attributed to human error. Indian Railways have a locomotive fleet strength of over 8,500. As per its policy, all types of locomotives, irrespective of whether they are hauling freight or passenger trains, will have air condition facilities. In fact, the official said 33 locomotives of 5000 horse power have already been provided with cab air conditioning facilities. They have been rolled out by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. The plan is to complete the entire exercise in the next two to three years, he said, adding Rs 12-13 lakh will be spent on each of the locomotives for air conditioning. Better working condition will also improve the alertness level of the loco pilots he said, adding, recently a decision has also been taken to provide a biometric device to the loco pilots to help them remain alert. Railways have also issued advisories to loco pilots to ensure that the existing safety-related devices inside the locomotives like the vigilance control device function properly. Instructions have also been issued to the loco pilots to avoid taking food from outsiders. PTI SGI KKE JVN 08011027

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