Nearly half of the motormen on the Western Railway (WR) have requested for transfers to other departments.
The motormen’s association, Western Railway Motormen’s Association has written a letter to the WR authorities saying their current job is becoming very stressful and an easy target for criticism.
The request has been made by 201 out of the 470 motormen. They have requested the authorities to allow them to join as guards who stand at the other end of a train.
Some motormen are also keen to run Metro rail and Monorail after few years.
On March 1, a 40-year-old motorman of Central Railway collapsed in the motormen’s lobby at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and died a few hours later. Motormen have attributed the incident to rising stress levels.
“We have submitted a letter to the authorities on February 17. Although it is a government job, the smallest mistake can lead to termination. We undergo a lot of stress,” said P Gupta, secretary, Western Railway Motormen’s Association.
The motormen on the WR ferry over 33 lakh commuters every day on the 60-km stretch of Churchgate and Virar. “We have to be alert looking at the signal, right stoppages at platforms and monitoring the speed of the train. If we make even one mistake, then there is an inquiry into it,” said a motorman on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
However, the railway authorities claim that the motormen were aware of what the job entailed before they joined. "Every motorman receives special training for at least a year. Moreover, they are being paid handsomely for their jobs,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity, as he is not
authorised to speak to the media.
“I will have to go through the issue before making any comment,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.