Saturday, September 8, 2012





“Thank the flame for its light,
but do not forget the lamp holder
standing in the shade with constancy of patience.”
Rabindranath Tagore.
Dear Comrades,
        Railway management is on a mad run on recent past with the neo – liberal slogan - profit!  More profit!! Still more profit!!!.  Accordingly the policy has changed to maximum speed, maximum load, maximum trains..... Least workers, more officers, least maintenance, least investment, more corruption and as a result railways are getting more accidents free of cost!.  Railways made a rule before last 10 years removing the discretionary power of disciplinary officer declaring minimum punishment as “Removal from Service” for passing signals at danger and still there is no reduction in number of accidents!
        With the aim of hauling more loads the ALCO designed 2400HP loco was given various steroid medicines to get 3300 HP and loco pilots got more noise pollution, dust pollution, vibration, excess heat, diesel smell etc in the driving cab free of cost at a higher range. When railways imported 4000HP dual Cab G4/P4 locos with one cab through a special order, loco pilots got a luck of non visibility of the track and signals outside when sitting inside the driving cab in long hood.  When railways ensured that Rs. 5000 is lost on maintenance for every hour, on a run for reducing maintenance cost, each loco sheds designed the driving cabs as they liked.
        The position of brakes and throttle handle are exchanged frequently and this experiment is continuing.  For operating the brake levers sitting in the loco pilots’ seat, like Hanuman’s tail (which can increase and decrease its length) type hands and legs are required.  To see the track, gauges speedometer, meters, indicators in front, a head that rotates in 3600 angle is required.  Along with this to see things in rear a Ravanan type head (Ten heads) at rear is also required.  To see guard signal and back view of train from the driving seat, a neck like giraffe is required.  To see the station masters and guards signal from a train running at 100 to 130 KMS one more head is required.  Apart from all these activities every 8 to 16 seconds the VCD button has to be pressed which is also not reachable to hands.  Totally the authorities are not concerned about the problems of operating the engine by crew and if brought to their knowledge they refuse to implement it.  In spite of having a research organization like RDSO the horns are not located at a common place above headlights  to reduce noise pollution but fitted in front of look out glasses and above driving cab to increase noise pollution in driving cab.
        To reduce expenditure the running distance limit of wagons and coaches was increased from 300KM to 3000/5000/7500 KMS and maintenance, coach washing, coach watering, AC coach bed sheets etc were given to private sector and there is no responsible railway officer on these activities today.  On the available land when the line capacity was increased to maximum at stations, the concerned signal for the concerned line could not be identified and some place electric masts are obstructing vision of signals and locating the exact signal depends on the luck of loco pilots today.  For the rules which object running of maximum number of trains with maximum load, railway officers are competing each other like manipulating the half of the digit 8 as 4, 3 and o.  When the loco pilot resumes from sick leave or normal leave from the common sense of reporting duty on the morning is manipulated by officers as 00.00 hours and so the physical body which was active for whole day time has to be left for sleep and a new body has to be searched for driving the train.
The railway management has now understood that common men cannot acquire strength like Spiderman and work trains safely.  The agitation of workers who dared to fight relentlessly has not gone waste and will never go waste.  Innumerable representations, Dharnas, Hungerfasts, protests, resistance against trespass of rules, facing of disciplinary actions pressures in various labour forums, publicity programs etc has challenged the high handedness of railway management and railway was forced to move towards high power HOER review committee, high level safety review committee (Dr.Anil Kakkodkar).  Before these committees AILRSA could put up evidence that could not be denied and that had set up a new area of protest.
        As a result of these things railway board called the meeting of Dy. CME’s and LI’s from all zones and conducted a discussion on reasons and prevention for SPAD and 58 proposals were given to all GM’s for implementation.  All the loco running staff who were on warpath since past many years can be proud on the demands raised by them now appearing as SPAD minutes.
1.     22/30 HRS PR to be modified as calendar day rest
2.     Continuous night duties to be limited to 2 or 3 nights
3.     Resuming from sick leave/leave to be changed from 00.00 hrs to 6.00 hrs
4.     Reduction of duty time of mail/express to 6 hours.
5.     Night duty between 22 to 6 hours to be made maximum 6 hours.
6.     Goods crew to be given relief through road movements.
7.     Running duties to be limited to 10 hrs for goods trains
8      2 hours calling time after rest at HQ/outstation.
9      Standardisation of both DSL/AC loco cabins
10.    Air conditioning of loco to avoid sound/dust pollution.
11.    To overcome the dropout of ALP, 2.5 times recruitment than actual requirement to be done.
12.    DRM’s given the power of cadre review in divisions.
13.    Loco pilots to work either in DSL or AC traction.
14.    Loco Pilots seat quality to improve with back rest portion. 
        The SPAD minutes have not addressed the issue of long hood working which obstructs the visibility and a cause of accidents endorsed by SIKRI committee and we have to fight out this in future.  For taking creative steps on SPAD minutes, the zonal/divisional offices requires correct application of mind, determination and discretion for relative proposals that can improve safety and well being of loco running staff.  But officers are likely to pick and chose the most unpopular ones like voice recorders, breath analysers with biometric CMS, close circuit cameras side lining the 12 proposals listed above as a priority for implementation.
        The implementation of SPAD minutes has to be done by management with a
1. Specified time limit.             2. Required fund allocation       
3. Priority wise as listed by AILRSA.
For the speedy implementation loco running staff will have to go on innumerable agitations in future as done earlier, Let us move forward in the path of unity of all workers, with co-operation from all workers expecting a day without train accidents and AILRSA gives a clarion call to all loco running staff to participate in conventions and agitational programs on SPAD.
AILRSA ZINDABAD                                       WORKING CLASS UNITY ZINDABAD       
Bangalore. y       /RDSO/LKO
        Minister of Railway

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