Rly Minister Denies Poor Loco Pilot Working Conditions, Says Duty Hours Monitored

Railways Minister Rebuts Rahul Gandhi's Allegations, Says recruitment process for 18,000 running staff is currently in process.
Rahul Gandhi with Loco Pilots
Rahul Gandhi with Loco Pilots

New Delhi- In response to recent allegations made by opposition leader Rahul Gandhi about the working conditions of loco pilots, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw has provided a point-wise rebuttal.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Railways, Vaishnaw has denied all the allegations made by Gandhi about the working conditions of loco pilots. He has said that the duty hours of loco pilots are being carefully monitored, and that the rest is provided meticulously after trips. He further said that the average duty hours of loco pilots in June 2024 are less than eight hours.

Vaishnaw has also clarified that only in the case of exigencies does the trip duration exceed the prescribed hours.

The minister said that when pilots complete a trip, they come to running room for rest if they are out of headquarters. Before 2014, running rooms were in very bad shape. Almost all (558) running rooms are now air conditioned. In many running rooms, foot massagers are also provided. Incidentally, this was criticised by Congress without understanding the working conditions of loco pilots.

He further said that the recruitment process of loco pilots has been completed in the past few years, and 34 thousand running staff have been recruited. He informed that the recruitment process for the remaining 18 thousand running staff is still in the process. The minister said that he is confident that the attempt to demoralize railway families with fake news will not be successful.

Notably, Rahul Gandhi had interacted with some Loco Pilots last week and based on the meeting, had criticised the Modi government for their plight.

In a social media post, Gandhi wrote: In the government of Narendra Modi, the life of loco pilots has completely derailed. Loco pilots are forced to work 16-16 hours a day, sitting in cabins boiling with heat. Those on whom millions of lives depend, no longer have any confidence in their own lives. Deprived of even basic facilities like urinals, loco pilots have no limit on working hours and they do not get any leave. Due to which they are becoming physically and mentally exhausted and ill. In such circumstances, making loco pilots drive the train means putting their lives and those of the passengers at risk. INDIA will raise its voice in Parliament to improve the rights and working conditions of loco pilots. "

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