Monday, September 9, 2013

Improve working conditions of loco pilots, says panel

Mamuni Das
Tiring job: Women loco pilots operating a train in Vijayawada (file photo).
Tiring job: Women loco pilots operating a train in Vijayawada (file photo).
Every time a train accident occurs, suggestions aplenty are bandied about to improve safety measures. However, not much attention has been paid to the tough working conditions of safety-related staff, such as locomotive pilots.
Now, a committee set up to look at the working hours of those who run these trains and other safety-related staff, has suggested multiple steps, including toilets in locomotives and guardrooms.
It has also suggested air-conditioners in locomotives as well as in running rooms (rooms at stations where the staff rest).
“At present, the working conditions inside the locomotive cab are fatigue-inducing. The temperatures inside the cab go as high as 60 degree centigrade in peak summers and close to 4-5 degree centigrade in peak winters, with wind entering through the crevices in doors and windows,” the committee headed by D.P. Tripathi, former Secretary, Railway Board, has said.

Duty hours

The total duty hours for the running staff at a stretch should not exceed 11 hours, the committee said in the context of long-distance trains.
The running staff include loco pilots for mail and express, passenger and freight trains; and motormen and guards. For loco pilots of all mail or express trains, the running duty should not exceed eight hours, it said.
It also called for providing adequate accommodation in running rooms so that there was not a single case of a loco pilot, assistant loco pilot or guard waiting for availability of bed after arriving at the running room.
The committee has further recommended that all running rooms should be fitted with air-conditioners within five years, starting with humid or coastal areas.
As an immediate measure, it has also recommended building suitable water-less type urinals on every locomotive.
The committee has also suggested that the Railways should design good-quality and smart uniforms for loco pilots and assistant loco pilots that match their ranks.
A trolley with laptop, or a tablet, accident manual may also be provided to all loco-pilots along with charging facilities, said the committee.
(This article was published on September 5, 2013)


Anonymous said...

our big problem is detentionn at outstatjon which not solved. reduce upto 36 hours. totaly in favour of admin.

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