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Problems of Track Machine Staff

D.O.No.AIRF/52(ii) Dated: December 28, 2011

Shri A. P. Mishra,
Member Engineering,
Railway Board, New Delhi

Dear Shri Mishra Ji,
Sub: Problems of Track Machine Staff

You may recall that an All India Safety Seminar-Cum-Conference of Track Machine Staff was held in T.N. Bajpai Memorial Hall, Chelmsford Road, New Delhi, which was inaugurated by your good-self. It may also be appreciated that the Track Machine Organization is growing fast, nevertheless the things have not so for been systemized despite lapse of several years, because of which a number of long pending grievances of these staff still remain unresolved.

I would, therefore, like to draw your kind attention towards a few being appended below:-

1. Classification of Track Machine Staff as Safety Category Staff The staff working in different grades with GP Rs.1800, 1900, 2400, 2800 and 4200, deployed on Track Machines, have not unfortunately been classified as Safety Staff while they undertake the most safety related works of track renewal and maintenance with Track Machines and other tools and plants. AIRF has repeatedly raised this issue at different levels, but the Railway Board are yet to issue instructions in this regard, on account of which these staff, who are totally involved in railway safety, are deprived of the associated benefits of the staff categorized as Safety Staff. I would, therefore, seek your personal intervention for early settlement of this issue.

2. Administrative control of Track Machine Staff It is though very clearly laid down in the Indian Railway Track Machine Manual that the control of the staff working on Track Machines on zonal railways should be centrally controlled on zonal basis as a separate Track Machine Organization. But it is noticed that on some of the zonal railways, these staff have been de-centralized on divisional basis. It is pertinent to mention here that the Track Machines of different categories keep on shifting from one division to another for undertaking the work of track renewal/maintenance on need basis, with the result, that the staff deployed on these machines also keep on moving from one division to another on zonal railway basis. Therefore, in case, the staff is kept divisionally controlled, a lot of problems crop up, viz. maintenance of their service record, leave account, PF etc. unnecessarily and sometimes difficulties are faced while arranging payment of settlement dues on superannuation/pre-mature demise.
Keeping this aspect in view, Railway Board should issue instructions to all the zonal railways to follow uniform policy of centrally controlled system as a separate organization for Track Machine Staff on all zonal railways

3. Implementation of 21 days duty and 7 days rest in a month duty roster for Track Machine Organization Staff A High Power Committee, constituted by the Railway Board to study the various problems of the Track Machine Organization and to suggest remedial measures thereof, had recommended 21 days duty, followed by 7 days rest in a month for the staff of Track Machine Organization so as to facilitate them to meet their family and social obligations because they often remain away from their residences. While some of the zonal railways have taken initiatives to implement this roster, which is quite convenient both for the administration and the staff, however, a number of zonal railways are still dragging their feet in implementing the same, which is quite unfortunate. It has also been laid down in the recommendations of the said committee to create 25% additional posts of different categories in Track Machine Organization to effectively implement this roster, the zonal railways have been facing lot of difficulties in creation of these additional posts due to embargo of matching surrender. I would, therefore, request you to kindly get the creation of 25% additional posts required for implementing 21 days duty roster, de-link from matching surrender process and issue instructions to all the zonal railways to implement above mentioned roster on all the zonal railways uniformly.

4. Deployment of Driver/Pilot on Track Machine At present, the SSEs/JEs(Track Machine) have been entrusted multiple duties, which include supervision of works, driving of Track Machines at a speed of 60 kmph as permitted by RDSO, operation of machines, store management and maintenance of machines etc. there have been a number of occasions when these SSEs/JEs have been penalized with stiff Major Penalty on committing error/omission while driving Track Machines from one station to another because of lack of GSR and STR Rules of the concerned section. Cases have also occurred where some of them have lost their lives too. Since Track Machines keep on shifting from one station to another and one division to another in a zonal railway, and there is no provision of route learning for them unlike Loco Pilots, as also they are not provided with any Pilot, Driver etc. while driving machines on some known sections, there are ample chances of committing mistake leading to accident. I would, therefore, request you to either deploy some Loco Pilots to drive Track Machine or OHE/TRD pattern should also be adopted in Track Machine Organization also.

5. Provision of special incentive for Track Machine staff Earlier, we had raised the demand for provision of Running Allowance to Track Machine Staff, which was not exceeded to, and instead a committee of 3 SAG officers was constituted to examine the probability of some special incentive for them. This issue is, however, hanging fire for quite some time and creating discontentment among the staff of Track Machine Organization. You are, therefore, requested to get this case expedited so that the staff could get some monetary benefits in the name of Special Incentive.

6. Provision of proper camp coaches and resting facilities to Track Machine Staff While there is an established provision in the IRTMM of a well furnished camp coach having adequate facilities as per RDSO’s guidelines with the Track Machines, but practically it is seen that the camp coaches provided with the machines are in a very critical condition being age old and some of them have already expired their codal life, as such the same are neither suitable for proper resting facilities nor safe in operation. Likewise, proper rest houses have also not been provided at the identified camping stations for the Track Machine Staff, with the result that, they do not get proper rest after performing their duties because of being away from their Headquarters and residence.
Necessary steps are, therefore, required to be taken to ensure provision of properly furnished and safe camp coaches as well as rest houses at identified camping stations so as to facilitate proper rest to these staff.

7. Provision of Cook in PB-I GP Rs.1900 on camp coaches of Track Machines Railway Board have already sanctioned ex-cadre post of Cook in erstwhile grade Rs.800-1150 for camp coaches of Track Machines on the Indian Railways basis to provide cooking facilities for the staff deployed on Track Machines. Since the Cook in Catering services are already placed in PB-I with GP Rs.1900, as such the Cooks working on ex-cadre posts on the camp coaches of the Track Machines may also be given Grade Pay of Rs.1900 uniformly as an incentive and motivation to work on these Track Machines.

8. Provision of uniform to Track Machine Staff While Trackmen and other allied staff of Engineering Department is entitled for steel toe shoes, fluorescent jacket, gloves, protective clothing and proper uniform, however, the staff working on Track Machines are not extended this facility. It would, therefore, be quite appropriate that the staff of Track Machines are also provided with proper uniform, steel toe shoes, fluorescent jacket, hand gloves, protective clothing, air protector and helmet etc. keeping in view their hazardous nature of duty.

9. Provision of shelter and proper siding for placement of Track Machines and camp coaches The Track Machines and camp coaches are often placed not only on improper locations but some times these machines and camp coaches are placed on such a place which lacks basic facilities of drinking water, lighting etc. and at times placed in between two running lines, which result in avoidable accidents etc. leading to loss of their lives.
I would, therefore, request that proper nominated non-OHE sidings be allotted for stabling Track Machines and camp coaches with provision of shelters for the safety of costly Track Machines.

I would be highly thankful if you may kindly take early steps for resolving above problems of the Track Machines Staff who are rendering valuable services in track maintenance over the Indian Railways.
With kind regards!.

(Shiv Gopal Mishra)
General Secretary

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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.