Thursday, December 15, 2011


Sri DP Tripathi,
Honorable Chairman,
High Power Committee On HOER at Bangalore.

Respected Sir,

All India Loco Running Staff Association Central Committee submitted a detailed memorandum before HOER Review committee at New Delhi on 11.08.2011.

Some additional points by South Western Railway are as follows.

1) A strong emphasis shall be given to the welfare of Loco running Staff:

            Safety of the public is directly related with the welfare of the Loco running Staff and family. For example, if a Station Master sleeps while on duty or he is weak on duty, the result will be the stoppage of trains at either side of that station. But if a Loco Pilot sleeps on duty, the result will be a major accident. So even though both are safety category staff, the duty and welfare of a Loco Pilot is directly related with the public safety whereas the duty of other safety category staff is not so.

            Another thing is- not only the welfare of Loco Pilot, but that of his family members also affects the public safety. For example, when Loco Pilot’s mother, wife or child falls sick and he is leaving for duty, can he deliver a safe driving?- No and never. So the rest, pay, health, relation with family & society, climate... every thing affects a Loco Pilot’s mindset and public safety.

2) HOER and the RLT 69 times were during STEAM ERA

            The classification of Running Staff as continuous was complying with the situation prevail then. For example, after 4 – 5 hours of work, there must be watering, ash unloading or coal loading for 2 to 3 hours. During this time the crew can go away the place of duty or engine. But now things have turned topsy-turvy, ie, with an AC loco, a train can be worked from Kannyakumari to Jammu Tawi. So virtually there is no time of inaction according to the HOER definitions. So the Loco Running Staff must be classified as Intensive. The Madurai Labour Enforcement Officer too emphasized this fact. (Remember that the ECRC category is classified as Intensive now with a proper food break).

3) Lack of toilet facility and food breaks (Loco Pilots are the only one category)

In the time table, there must be a 10 minutes break for every express train at the time of break fast, lunch and dinner for the crew. For example, Shathabdi Express (Tr. No.12028) must stop at Katpadi for 10 minutes for break fast since it reaches there at 09.00 hrs and Coimbatore – Lokmanya Tilak Express (Tr. No. 11014) must stop at Dharmapuri for 10 minutes for lunch break of crew.

4) Ensure Proper Rest

If the rest at Head quarter or at out station is preceding a night duty, the rest hours should be more to enable the Loco Pilot to take proper rest in view of safety. In case of Mail and Express trains it is possible to prepare such links.

5) Regarding OSDA

When other staffs are detained at out stations they will get full TA. But in case of Loco Running Staff, this is mere 70 kms. So it must be increased according to the 70% TA + 30% Basic rates. For example, presently the second OSDA (16+24 hrs) for Loco Pilot is 70 kms. ie, 70 x 1.71 = Rs120 whereas a head clerk gets Rs 425 as TA.
So to make equality in law, Loco Pilot should get approximately 250 kms as OSDA.

6) NDA rate to be increased

            Medical reports says, “to recover from a full night duty it takes 48 hours. So the NDA must be increased as 2 days wages for 1 full night duty.

7) Limit longer hour working

More than 70% of the rail accidents happened after a spell of 5 hours duty. This  clearly indicates the fact of unsafe longer hours working and why the Loco Running Staff must be classified as Intensive.

8) Crew Booking on FIFO basis

The goods crew shall be booked strictly in accordance with first in first out basis as any other system would render injustice, corruption, and reposition. The staffs that have been utilized to the maximum output of work if sidelined in the second week of the averaging period will loose further chance of earning sufficient kilometerage allowance, OTA, NDA, etc. The system of booking the crew on progressive hours earned in the first week of averaging period adversely affects the capacity to earn since 30%of pay element is involved in kilometerage allowance. So denial to book the staff of their very basic pays itself there by denying the right to live with dignity envisaged in article 4 of the constitution of India.                                                                                                                                                     

9) Provision of Co-Loco pilots

In order to ensure safety and improve productivity Co-Loco pilot to be provided in the coaching trains in following manner:-
a.    On trains those are running more than 110 KMPH speed (or)
b.    Crew change point beyond 250 KM (or)
c.    There is no stoppage up to 100 KM.

10) Crew relief between 00.00 hrs to 06.00 hrs

Many committees and several CRS  reports stressed to relive  crews between 00.00 hrs to 06.00 hrs since such time is very vulnerable and prone for accidents

11). Crew beats
It is advised by the Hon’ble CAT/ERM in 1992 for strict compliance of working pattern.
a.    Strictly specify the crew beats
b.    Same to be displayed in concerned crew lob b y
c.    While serving call book, mentioning of call on duty time, working direction, train number, other crew member name

12) Absence of running staff from head quarter

 The railway board clearly agreed that the demand of 24 hrs absence of running staff from head quarter is justified during its PNM meeting on 8.10.2009 and 9.10.2009 vide item no.20/2009 but it will not
be operationally prudent to restrict this duration to 24 hrs as demanded. It is very clear that the R.B is seen this item on the business view, which is very endangering to the future of railways.

13) Single running room
 As per age old HOER crew shall stay in 3 running rooms in their duty but during the automated working system it is not justified, Hence it should be restrict only one running room.  Thus crew can be utilized to and fro working and 8 hrs rest in running room. There by crew can be being back to head quarters within 24-30hrs.

14) Earmarked accommodation for spare (pilot) travel crew
As a welfare and safety measure all crew who go or come pilot (travelling spare on duly) to and from work shall be provided with earmarked accommodation.

15 )Duty preparation time (call time):-
 It shall be clearly exclude from the rest hours either at head quarter or out station. It should not be inclusion of rest hours. Currently the so called officious are giving wrong interpretations’ on the matter and misguiding the system of working.

16) Resumption from  leave or  sick: -
In order to ensure public safety running staffs who resumes duty after availing leave shall be booked to work trains only at 16.00hrs the following day deeming that such staff had signs off duly at 00.00hrs on the date of expiry of the leave.  The logic behind this s that an employee is fully at hrs. disposal during the whole of the leave period ( till 00.00hrs ) and he might not have taken proper rest prior to resumption of duty.

17) Different rules:

 IPC 34: Nothing is an offence which is done by a person who at the time of doing it, by reason of ‘UNSOUNDNESS OF MIND’, is incapable of knowing the nature of his act, or that he is doing what is either wrong or contrary to law”

            The unsoundness of mind may be permanent, in intervals or temporary. The Running Staff of Indian Railways are walking Stress Himalayas. They have hue stress in their mind, not created by him, but by their employer, Indian Railways. Improper rest, inferior quality running rooms, the health hazards like surrounding magnetic field in electric locos, heavy smoke in diesel locos, dust, un-time food or no food at all at times, lack of toilet facility etc., improper wages and allowances, harassment by superiors, isolation from society life, insufficient family get together, continuous night duties, memorization of signals, their locations, knowledge of different kind of locos, their trouble shooting, Railway rules such as GRS, SRs, ARS, SOBs, safety circulars, Station Working Rules etc. So all these make him stressful always. So there is always a chance of momentary ‘UNSOUNDNESS OF MIND’ due to the above facts. 70% of the accidents happened after a spell of 5 hours duty is a burning truth. But alas, no Running Staff was exonerated sighting the above point.

            But at the same time, Railway Administration who created these stress in the mind of Running Staff and who are really guilty are acquitted (or not punished).

            IPC 304-A states:- “whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligence not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 2 years or with fine or with both.

            Here the negligence and arrogance of the Railway top brass who never heard us regarding the limitation of duty hours, night duties, proper rest, condition of locos and running rooms, proper wages & allowances are the real culprits. But they are not getting any accountability or punishments.

            We, the Loco Running Staff, from our experience tell that we are unable to work beyond 5-6 hours, we admit that we are getting exhausted mentally after this period, we produce proof for that. But still they (Railways) are reluctant to admit all this, amounting to the killing of thousand of innocents.   
                      We request the Honarable Committee to consider the main memorandum submitted by AILRSA along with these additional points.

Thanking You                                         Yours faithfully

Bangalore                                                 (C.Sunish)


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