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Railways play the blame game with employees


Railways play the blame game with employees

Posted on: 19 Aug 2010

Majority of probes on accidents blame the employees or is termed a conspiracy. The organization of railway employees allege that in some instances if the onus can't be placed on the employees, the railways shift the blame to conspiracy.
Like the loco pilots, the station masters too have a major role to play. They have to regulate the running of trains through a panel. It is the station master who gives instructions to loco pilots on which platform the train has to be stopped. As per the railway manual, the station master must monitor the whole activities through the panel. He has to ensure that the train leaves the station in a good condition by checking the brake system, axle and for any other discrepancies.
He also need to give instructions to close or open the gates of the level crossings which comes under his purview. At present there are 30 to 35 trains passing through each station on a single day. Single line had become double lines. There would be 7 or 8 level crossings under each station master. More time would be needed to give instructions to close or open the gates. When the station master is engaged in this, where would he find time to check the panel. Added to all these, in some small stations the station masters are given additional job of issuing tickets too.
An order issued in 2002 by the railway board had sought appointment of additional station masters in all stations with centralised panel, double line and in stations having single line with maximum capacity exceeding 85%. But this was not implemented yet.
When disaster strikes, the investigation commission would first quiz the station master and question him if he had checked the panel or not. The Commission would in no way accept the explanation that they were engaged in issuing tickets or giving instructions to gate men, punishing them in the end.
It was in 2002 that a train hit a school van at the Punnel level crossing in Thalassery. The gateman was dismissed from service. Though the Thalassery station master was also dismissed, he rejoined duty after a legal battle. But a criminal case is still pending.
There are 7 level crossings in Thalassery. The level cross at Punnel is non-interlocked. The gateman told the commission that the station master had not informed him about the arrival of two trains at the same time. He opened the gate after the first train passed. The school van was hit by the second train and the van driver killed.
If the gate had an interlocking facility, the accident would have been averted. The vehicle had to stop there even if the gates are not closed. Within months of the accident at Punnel, the level cross was interlocked. There are many level crossings without interlocking faculty. Such level crossings are tantamount to unmanned level crossing.
As per railway rule the uninterlocked level crossings must be closed all the time. This too is an age-old rule. If a vehicle has to pass, the driver should get special permission from the gateman. There are many without interlocking systems and the railway official knows that as per the rules this can't be opened or closed frequently as large number of vehicles keep plying through each gate.

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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.