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Manhole thief derails train-Motorman Mr. M.K.Zinge prevented accident


100s of passengers on Thane-Nerul train miraculously escape a derailment that was caused by a stolen manhole cover. Alert motorman M K Zinge applied emergency brakes when he saw the thief, but by the time the train stopped, the first few wheels had run over the manhole cover, derailing a coach.

The 4.10 pm Thane-Nerul train on the Harbour line crossed Airoli station as usual at 4.16 pm on Friday. It was just approaching Rabale station when the motorman, A K Zinge, saw a person dragging a huge object across the track, about 200 metres from the train. In an instant, Zinge pressed the horn, the person dropped the object in panic, Zinge applied emergency brakes, the train hurtled over the object and the sudden movement derailed a coach. The alert motorman had averted a near-fatal accident that could have killed hundreds of commuters.

The object on the tracks turned out to be a 3x3 feet manhole cover, which a thief had stolen from a footpath adjacent to the Harbour line tracks. The person must have been dragging the heavy concrete cover across the tracks, when he saw the train approaching. Realising that he would not make it across in time, he dumped the cover in front of the coming train and fled.

The train had been travelling at 40 to 50 kmph at the time of the incident. Though Zinge started pressing the horn to warn the person, he realised time was running out. “The next few moments were crucial for the safety of commuters. I immediately applied emergency brakes. The manhole cover was barely 50 metres from the train at the time,” Zinge said, still shivering at the thought.

By the time the train came to a halt, the first few wheels had run over the manhole cover, derailing the first coach. Commuter Kushal Kshirsagar was shaken by the incident. “The train made a loud noise before it came to a screeching halt. A few metal parts flew off from the tracks when it derailed. I jumped off the train and saw the manhole cover stuck underneath the tracks,” he said.

Another commuter, Manoj Shukla, who was on the train, said, “I was standing on the footboard when I saw a man struggling with a huge concrete cover on the tracks. The motorman kept pressing the horn and when the man realised the train was getting too close, he panicked and ran.”

S C Mudgerikar, CPRO of CR added, “A major accident was averted as Zinge was alert. We will conduct a detailed enquiry into the matter. The services on the route resumed by 6.16 pm.”

Train services disrupted

The train service on the Harbour Line of the Central Railway remained disrupted for the next two hours as Railway officials had to arrange for a crane to put the train back on the tracks. Meanwhile, the Thane-Vashi and Thane-Panvel services were diverted to another line. S N Datar, Senior Police Inspector of Rabale police station said, “The manhole cover was stolen from near the tracks.”

Passengers gathered around the derailed train. Services on the Harbour Line resumed after 6 pm.

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25

Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974

Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.

6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:

6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:

6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.

Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.

(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.

(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.

(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below

Age Group PME Due

Age 00-45 every 4yrs

Age 45-55 every 2yrs

Age 55-60 every year
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you

6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.