Rahul Gandhi meets loco pilots in Delhi, promises to take up demands as LoP

Long working hours without adequate breaks causes great stress and lapses in concentration which is a major cause of accidents.
Rahul Gandhi with loco pilots in New Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi with loco pilots in New Delhi.(Express Photo)

NEW DELHI: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday met around 50 loco pilots of Indian Railways, at the New Delhi railway station.

According to the party, during the interaction with him, loco pilots mainly complained about inadequate rest seeking a weekly rest of 46 hours. A statement issued by the party said that long working hours without adequate breaks causes great stress and lapses in concentration which is a major cause of accidents.

This has been acknowledged by the railways in multiple reports including the recent probe in the accident in Visakhapatnam, read the statement.

“The loco pilots demand a weekly rest of 46 hours. This means a train driver returning home on Friday afternoon will return to duty no later than Sunday morning. The Railways Act 1989 and other rules already provide for 30 + 16 hours of rest per week, which is not being implemented. Airplane pilots typically also get this quantity of rest. They also demand that two consecutive nights of duty should be followed by one night of rest, and trains should have basic amenities for drivers,” said the party.

(Express Photo)

The party also alleged that the lack of rest is caused by understaffing due to the Government halting all recruitment of loco pilots. “Over the past four years, the railways recruitment board has not recruited even a single loco pilot despite tens of thousands of vacancies. The pilots expressed their fear that this deliberate move is a plan by the Modi government to privatize the railways,” the party said.

It further said that Gandhi listened to their concerns and fully supported their demand for adequate rest. “As Leader of the Opposition, he promised to take up their demands with the government,” the statement read.

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