Monday, April 7, 2014

WR tops Spad incidents this year


The Western Railway (WR) has seen 12 incidents of Signal Passsing At Danger (Spad) in 2013-14, which is higher than the 12 other zones of the Indian Railways in the same period.

A Spad is when a motorman fails to put on the brakes before a signal, going past the safe distance. This is said to be dangerous as an error of a few metres might lead to an accident, or even worse, a head-on collision of two trains.
The railway board has maintained that any motorman involved in Spad will be dismissed from work with immediate effect. The Western Railway Motormen Association (WRMA), an unrecognised union, had held a protest on April 1 and 2 recently, opposing the immediate dismissal rule, which they call unjust.
A member of the union said, “We are given the same punishment whether we pass the signal by 10 metres or 100 metres.”
When asked about the fact that the WR is the highest violator of Spad among all the zones, the union member said, “You cannot compare us to the other zones because they do not have the pressure of running the local trains, we run the trains at intervals of three to four minutes during morning peak-hours.”
An official said on condition of anonymity, “The demand is ridiculous, the motorman has to pay attention to the signal, that is all. In fact, the BEST drivers are under more stress as they have to pay attention to the road and traffic while the motormen only have to monitor the speed and signals.”
WR divisional railway manager Shailendra Kumar said, “It is a rule that the railway board has had for a long time and we have to uphold what it tells us to.”

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