Thursday, June 7, 2012


TODAY'S PAPER » NATIONAL » KARNATAKA

BANGALORE, 

Stressed out loco pilots air their grievances

STAFF REPORTER

Loco pilots from Southern, South Western and South Central Railway will take out a march on June 7 to the office of the Commissioner of Railway Safety, Southern Region, Bangalore, to apprise him about the dangerous conditions under which they work.

A release from the All-India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) here said that the loco pilot driving the Hampi Express, which was involved in an accident on May 22 at Penukonda, Andhra Pradesh, was put on six continuous night shifts. After a night's rest, he was again put on night shift as driver of the ill-fated train.If there was human failure leading to the accident, it is the Railway administration alone which should be blamed, and not the loco pilots, who are made to work without proper rest, it said. The Railways still follows the “inhuman” Hours of Employment Regulations (HOER), framed in the 19th century, the release said.
It said excess noise levels up to 100 decibels in locomotives as against the permitted 75 decibels, excess heat, dust and pollution in the pilot's cabin contribute to early fatigue. Moreover, the Railways was unwilling to standardise the location of horns above the head lights and loco sheds were unwilling to provide rigid locking arrangements of compartment doors, bothe of which could reduce noise pollution.
The AILRSA said despite recommendations by the Railway Accidents Enquiry Committee (Sikri Committee) to use short-hood locomotives, the Railways continues to use long-hood and has in fact supplied lengthier hood locomotives for operations. o pilots.

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