Safety audit finds irregularities found in alcohol test records of loco pilots at Chandigarh railway station

To ensure safety and implementation of guidelines and rules for train safety, a detailed safety audit was conducted at the station after a gap of two years.
Principal safety officer Seema Kumar checking records of breathalyser tests of the running staff at the loco lobby of the Chandigarh railway station on Friday.(SANT ARORA/HT)
Principal safety officer Seema Kumar checking records of breathalyser tests of the running staff at the loco lobby of the Chandigarh railway station on Friday.(SANT ARORA/HT)
Published on Feb 22, 2020 12:07 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByRachna Verma, Chandigarh

Irregularities were found in alcohol test records of locomotive pilots and other running staff during an inspection of the Chandigarh railway station’s safety measures by Indian Railways’ Safety Audit Committee, Delhi, on Friday.

To ensure safety and implementation of guidelines and rules for train safety, a detailed safety audit was conducted at the station after a gap of two years.

The Railway Board instructs the station supervisor to maintain records of breathalyser tests of the running staff (loco drivers, assistant loco drivers and guards, who help in movement of a train).

Every running staff have to undergo the breathalyser test, both when they sign in and out for duty and are not allowed to work if alcohol limits are above permissible limits.

This correspondent, who was present at the station, was witness to principal safety officer Seema Kumar pointing out discrepancies in the timings of drivers’ signing in and out of duty and the breathalyser tests.

“The committee has found a few discrepancies in the records and recorded it as well. The audit reports on the deficiencies found during the inspection will be submitted to the railways ministry and the northern division of Indian Railways. Further necessary steps will be taken,” said Seema Kumar.

An official present during the inspection alleged on condition of anonymity that false entries were being made in registers, which were not inspected regularly.

The staff was also unable to provide a separate list of habitual drinkers, which was mandatory as per guidelines.

The Chandigarh railway station at present has 53 drivers. Nine cases in 2019 and two cases in 2020 were found positive in breathalyser tests, but during medical tests alcohol levels were found to be less than 10mg.

The safety team also checked the station’s traffic signalling room, major coaching depots, running rooms, loco sheds, points and crossings, derailment-prone sections and fire arrangements.

The Northern Railway Men’s Union also handed over a memorandum apprising the team of staff shortage in every section.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021