The high power committee constituted by the Ministry of Railways to review the duty hours of running and other safety categories of staff on Railways on Wednesday held discussions with various trade unions here.

The four-member panel headed by D.P. Tripathi, former Secretary, Ministry of Food processing Industries, was in Chennai as part of consolidating views from employees across zonal Railways. The Committee is reviewing daily/weekly duty hours and rest at head quarters and out station for the running staff in all categories of trains, the list of safety categories on the Railways, and recommend daily/weekly duty hours and weekly off for the staff in safety categories.
It is also examining the proposal for monetary compensation for work beyond duty hours/breach of rest in exigencies of service for running staff/staff in safety categories and the facilities for out-station rest and other amenities. Among the petitions the panel is examining is a memorandum submitted by the All India Loco Running Staff Association, which while welcoming the constitution of the high-power committee, also demanded a better balanced composition for the panel, whose prominent failing was the presence of three former Railway bureaucrats and the absence of a judicial member.
The AILRSA memorandum also stated that the absence of representatives from the Ministry of Labour or trade unions was glaring omission that rendered the high power committee untenable. It also called for evolving guidelines on crew scheduling and a scientific study to fix duty hours of loco running staff.