Friday, March 20, 2015

 The Chairman,                                                                                                     Railway Board, Rail Bhavan,                                                                           
 New Delhi.
Respected Sir,
            We, the undersigned are Loco Pilots, and Assistant Loco Pilots  under your control and striving hard to ensure safety and punctuality in train operation with full dedication and responsibility.  But it seems your good office is watching us with a suspicious eye, as if we are mischievous and unreliable lot in the Indian Railways. The decision to install surveillance cameras in the Locomotive cabin has to be seen thus.

            .  There are enough gadgets in the Locomotive such as ‘Speedometer with event recorder’ and devices like MEP/ FDCS, VCD to record the entire driving activities of the Crew.  Decision to provide camera to watch the crew will not improve safety in the Railway; if the intention is to improve safety you should order to provide ETCS Level – 2, Cab signaling, ATP, AWS, ACD, CBTC and standardization of location of cab equipments in the Locomotive.  Such vital suggestions to improve safety by various high level committees are kept in cold storage. Moreover, regarding the working condition inside the cab, as we all know, it is most unjust and inhumane with incapacitating hot condition, hazardous decibel above extreme safe level, the clumsy conditions of equipment adversely affecting safe working etc. Leave alone the cab ergonomics and other modern concepts not even a good fan could be provided in the cab so far, minimum facility for the crew to attend their biological needs is not there (normally the crew ease their bladder standing near the cab-door and how far it will be ethical to capture this is a pertinent   point). Without addressing all this longstanding issues, showing unprecedented interest in surveillance camera is dubious and something outrageous.        
               The work of Loco Pilot is sophisticated requiring high skill and concentration, which warranted a congenial atmosphere in which nothing should distract their mind.  The very thought that somebody is closely watching especially to find error and fault minute by minute with a hidden agenda, itself give undue strain on the Crew that invariably tell upon their concentration in work which in turn may lead to accidents.
            Your good self is ill advised.  There are cameras fitted in the doorstep of the cockpit of international flights as per stringent Rules for safety, but those cameras are not meant to peep into the activities of the ‘Cabin Crew’, but to watch passenger cabin so as to detect any plan to highjack the flight and also to monitor the entry into cockpit.  The higher authorities ( such as DGCA, FAA etc.) entrusted with flight safety apparently know the consequences and effect on the mind of Cabin Crew, if they are under the surveillance camera -  that is why they did not venture into such idea of constant policing.
            We hope your good self will reconsider the issue in the light of our submission and hope that your good self will venture to provide the gadgets to ensure safety as recommended by various committees.  Also we hope that the recommendations of various high power committees, that is to say the Railway Safety Review Committee headed by Hon: Justice. H.R. Khanna, The High Level Safety Review Committee headed by Dr.. Anil Kakodkar, High Power Committee on working hours of Loco pilots and other Safety categories and SPAD directives of Railway Board etc. are to be implemented with true spirit. Now the Railway Board is brooding on such recommendations for years together.  Beating the bush and cosmetic changes is not the solution to ensure or enhance the Railway Safety.
            Subjecting the Crew for continuous surveillance cause unpleasant stress on them and it will lead to more accidents and in every accident we will be the first victim. The issue of invasion into privacy and increased chances of being subjected to bullying is also not to be regarded as insignificant. Prudency dictates a different course of action; that is why we raise our voice.
                        Thanking you sir,
Place:                                                                                                 Yours faithfully,
 Sl No      Name                                                    Desgn                        Depot                        Sign


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