Motormen to resume work from Monday after CR’s assurance of solving grievances | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Motormen to resume work from Monday after CR’s assurance of solving grievances

Feb 12, 2024 07:02 AM IST

Union representatives claim that Sharma was under tremendous pressure, having missed a signal while driving a Panvel CSMT local earlier in the day and also raised the issue of Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD) cases

Mumbai: A day after 147 local trains were cancelled after several motormen decided to attend their colleague Murlidhar Sharma’s funeral, who was killed on Friday between Byculla and Sandhurst Road station after being hit by a train, the Central Railway motormen, who were angry at the administration, will resume their regular working hours from Monday.

Motormen to resume work from Monday after CR’s assurance of solving grievances
Motormen to resume work from Monday after CR’s assurance of solving grievances

This was decided on Sunday after a 3-hour long meeting between the motormen, railway unions and the CR administration. Sharma’s untimely death has left a profound impact on his colleagues and sparked discussions about the challenges faced by running staff. Union representatives claim that Sharma was under tremendous pressure, having missed a signal while driving a Panvel CSMT local earlier in the day and also raised the issue of Signal Passing At Danger (SPAD) cases.

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The meeting was called to address several such issues faced by the motormen, one of the most important ones was working overtime. Sources said that the railway administration will review the cases of SPAD whereby the train passes a red signal. As per the process, an enquiry is initiated against the motorman of this train and as it is considered as a serious offence; the guilty motorman is also given compulsory retirement.

The degree of punishment was questioned by the motormen and railway unions and after Saturday’s unusual way of protest by the motormen, the railway administration will apparently relook into the punishment meted out. “Within a fortnight, we will look into the pending SPAD cases. After the initial examination, we will also approach the railway board,” said a CR official.

“The Mumbai suburban section is a special zone when compared to the rest of the country. The rail traffic is very heavy and motormen have to look at several aspects while manoeuvring the train. Even after applying brakes, at times, some part of the coach crosses the red signal. This is not intentional and simply the train overshoots the signal. Delivering punishment like removal from job or handing over compulsory retirement is wrong. We have demanded that such SPAD cases should be looked into,” said a railway union leader from Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh who were part of this Sunday meeting held at CSMT.

In Mumbai, there are signal poles at a gap of every 450-750 metres while outside the suburban system it is at a distance of a kilometre or two depending on the section. Meanwhile after this meeting which was held from 11am to 1.45pm on Sunday, the motormen and railway unions withdrew their decision to not work an ‘Extra Detail’ or overtime beyond their working hours. On Saturday, its repercussions were felt when nearly 150 trains got cancelled after motormen attended the funeral of Sharma and even decided to skip overtime.

“When there are over 300 wrongly placed signals in the system; why is no action being taken on those in-charge for this by the administration. These signals are now being rectified. By removing a motorman for SPAD cases will affect the staff and the family as well. It is not as if the train completely skips that red signal and continues to move forward,” said a few motormen. There are around 450 motormen on CR manoeuvring 1,810 services everyday. The union’s claim that there are unfilled vacancies to the tune of 25-30%.

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