Locomotive pilots of the Indian Railways are urging Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu to improve the condition of crew cabins and amongst other demands provide basic facilities such as bottled drinking water and AC cabins for the crew members and reduced summer working hours.
The loco pilots, have also sent a copy of this letter to the National Human Rights Commission and said that immediate action needs to be taken to improve their working conditions.
The loco pilots brave the soaring temperature while sitting in a small cabins without the facility of even rest rooms.
Even as they transport millions of passengers and cargo everyday, the inhuman condition that they have to face is appalling to even hear.
The letter that was sent by L Mony and MN Prasad, president and secretary-general of the Loco Pilots Association, reads:
It points at the “poor” working conditions and how it goes against the declared “National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace”.
While the condition of the passenger cabins have been improving over the years, the condition of cabins provided to Loco Pilots have hardly improved.
The situation is so bad that the even the basic facility like providing water closets in locos, which was talking about in Rail Budget 2013-14, has not yet materialised.
Thankfully, the government recently launched its first diesel locomotive train with AC vaccum toilet for train drivers.
As per report, there are about 55,000 loco pilots in the Indian Railways out of which about 20,000 drive super-fast trains.
To drive their point home, they have also mentioned in the letter how “Loco running staffs are one of the vital categories for safe and punctual running of trains” and how “even minor lapses and human errors on their part are visited with severe punishments.”