Friday, August 11, 2017

TNN | Updated: Aug 11, 2017, 
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NAGPUR: The train running staff and Central Railwayadministration is at crossroads over long-working hours for loco pilots and guards.

After a gate meeting two days ago to protest against the exploitation of running staff, the employees affiliated to Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) on Thursday took out a morcha to the DRM office to highlight their issues.

According to CRMS divisional president Vinod Chaturvedi and divisional secretary Debashish Bhattacharya, loco pilots are being refused leave and rest and are being served charge sheets.

CRMS leaders claimed that as per the Railway Board norms, working hours for loco pilots and assistant loco pilots (ALPs) and guards is 8 hours, which can be extended by 2 hours. However, the staff is being forced to work for 12 to 14 hours.

On the contrary, Central Railway PRO PD Patil says as far as loco pilots are concerned, they have to return to the headquarters in 72 hours, whereas they are returning in 30 hours. "There is no exploitation. Cases of excess working hours may not be more than 2%," he added.

The administration has a facility to review the crew every year and an indent has to be submitted on vacancies. However, even as the number of passengers and goods trains has been increasing, the number of running staff is stagnant.

Bhattacharya said apart from staff shortage, the main reason is non-availability of path. " For example, if a goods train loco pilot starts at 10am from Nagpur, he reaches Ajni at 1pm and by the time he reaches Butibori, his duty timing is over. In such a situation, the staff is being forced to work overtime."

The CRMS leaders alleged that running staff is being forced to work for more than one train for long hours. If this is not enough, staff has been attacked by anti-social elements at the parking stand. Similarly, there have been problems with running rooms.

In Nagpur Central Railway, total sanctioned strength of loco pilots is 1,829 while men on roll is 1,533. Similarly, total guards strength is 665 while men on roll is 515. Virendra Singh, secretary of CRMS (running staff), demanded to fill up 296 vacant posts of loco pilots and 150 pots of guards immediately to ease the tense situation

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