Mumbai’s railway police reduces work hours for its Palghar staff

‘The shorter shifts give staff the time to relax and gather their strength’
The GRP staff strength in the city and suburbs is 3,700, which has remained stagnant since 1982.(Hindustan Times)
The GRP staff strength in the city and suburbs is 3,700, which has remained stagnant since 1982.(Hindustan Times)
Published on May 05, 2019 11:39 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByMegha Sood, Mumbai

megha.sood@hindustantimes.com

In a first, the duty hours of 140 personnel from Palghar government railway police (GRP) station have been reduced to eight hours from 12 hours since May 1, taking the dangers of the long shifts on their health into account.

The GRP staff strength in the city and suburbs is 3,700, which has remained stagnant since 1982. One GRP constable is accountable for 2,193 commuters. According to statistics, the number of commuters travelling on Mumbai trains has increased to 80 lakh in 2017.

Niket Kaushik, commissioner of GRP, said, “As an experiment, from April 1, we decided that instead of two shifts, the personnel from Palghar – the farthest station on the western line – be divided into three shifts, with first two shifts of eight hours and the third one of 10 hours. The personnel staying in Ghatkopar and other places had to travel for more than two hours daily to reach Palghar, which meant they spent 16 hours outside, which was taking a toll on their health.”

“The shorter shifts give staff the time to relax and gather their strength,” said an officer from GRP.

After Palghar, the GRP have now started the experiment at Karjat, the farthest station on the central line. “We will gradually extend it to the entire state, without compromising on commuter safety,” said Kaushik.

Officials said that apart from police personnel, GRP have recruited and trained 300 home guards, besides 2,000 staff members recruited by the railways and 251 Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) jawans to man approximately 700km of railway tracks on all three lines.

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