Rahul Gandhi met loco pilots, assured them to raise the issue of ‘privatisation’ of railways

The Uncut

New Delhi. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi on Friday met the loco pilots who run trains and assured them that he will raise the issue of ‘privatization of railways’ and lack of remuneration. According to the Congress, its former president met about 50 loco pilots from all over India at the New Delhi Railway Station in the afternoon. During this meeting, the loco pilots said that they do not get enough time to rest. The Congress also released a video and photo of this meeting.

According to the party, loco pilots complain that they operate long-distance trains and are often sent back on duty without adequate breaks. They said this leads to extreme stress and loss of concentration which is a major cause of accidents.

The Congress said this has been acknowledged by the Railways in several reports, including the recent investigation into the accident in Visakhapatnam.
The party said, “The demand of the loco pilots is that they should get 46 hours of rest in a week. This means that the train driver returning home on Friday afternoon will return to duty before Sunday morning. The Railway Act 1989 and other rules already have a provision of 30 plus 16 hours of rest per week, which is not being implemented. Airplane pilots also usually get the same relaxation.” Congress says that the loco pilots also demand that there should be one night of rest after two consecutive nights of duty and there should be basic facilities for the drivers in the trains.

During this meeting between Rahul Gandhi and the loco pilots, the issue also came up that “due to the government stopping all recruitment of loco pilots and shortage of staff (they) get less rest.” Congress said, “In the last four years, the Railway Recruitment Board has not recruited a single loco pilot despite thousands of vacancies. The pilots feared that this deliberate step is the Modi government’s plan to privatize the railways.” Rahul Gandhi told the loco pilots that he has been continuously raising the issue of privatization of railways and lack of recruitment.

The Congress said, “Rahul Gandhi listened to their concerns and fully supported their demand for adequate rest. He hoped that this would significantly reduce accidents. As the leader of the opposition, he promised to raise their demands before the government.”

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