Rahul Gandhi Meets Loco Pilots, Assures Support for Better Working Conditions

They highlighted the strain of driving trains over long distances, often being called to duty without sufficient breaks.
Rahul Gandhi Meets Loco Pilots, Assures Support for Better Working Conditions
Rahul Gandhi Meets Loco Pilots, Assures Support for Better Working Conditions

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi held a significant meeting with around 50 loco pilots from various parts of India at the New Delhi railway station on Friday.

The meeting, which took place at 12:30 pm, provided a platform for the loco pilots to voice their pressing concerns and challenges.

The primary issue raised by the loco pilots was the lack of adequate rest. They highlighted the strain of driving trains over long distances, often being called to duty without sufficient breaks. This, they emphasized, leads to high stress levels and lapses in concentration, contributing to accidents. This concern was corroborated by multiple reports from the Railways, including the recent investigation into the Vishakapatnam accident.

The loco pilots demanded a weekly rest period of 46 hours, ensuring that a train driver returning home on a Friday afternoon would not have to return to duty before Sunday morning. This request aligns with existing provisions in the Railways Act 1989 and other regulations, which stipulate 30 + 16 hours of rest per week. They also called for two consecutive nights of duty to be followed by one night of rest and for trains to be equipped with basic amenities for drivers.

Rahul Gandhi Meets Loco Pilots, Assures Support for Better Working Conditions
Rahul Gandhi Meets Loco Pilots, Assures Support for Better Working Conditions

Despite tens of thousands of vacancies, the Railways Recruitment Board has not recruited any new loco pilots over the past four years. The pilots voiced their concern that this could be part of a broader strategy by the Modi government to privatize the railways.

Rahul Gandhi assured the loco pilots that he has been persistently addressing the issue of railway privatization and the lack of recruitment. He listened attentively to their concerns and expressed full support for their demands for adequate rest. Gandhi emphasized that implementing these changes could significantly reduce accidents. As Leader of the Opposition, he committed to raising their demands with the government and advocating for their welfare.

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