BOTH Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) are bracing for added pressure on their motormen with the introduction of 60 train services from next week. With both CR and WR witnessing a 15-20 per cent vacancy in staff strength of motormen for suburban train operations, the present staff may be asked to work for more hours as a temporary measure, officials said. Senior officials said the vacancies have not seriously affected the railways until now as spare staff members are rotated to fill in during times of need.
“On any given day, at least 60-70 motormen and guards do not report to work due to various reasons — medical needs, refresher courses, holidays and other reasons. We employ spare staff by re-adjusting their working hours,” a senior official said.
A senior official overseeing the operations department said:“To fill the gap, we would ask motormen to clock in additional hours, which will be in line with the hours under employment rules. Nowhere will their safety be compromised. A balance will be maintained,”
Usually, motormen do not refuse to work extra hours as it fetches over-time payment. Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal is likely to announce 28 additional suburban services on CR and 32 additional train services on WR on Friday.