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Women,too,will pilot VAG Metro

PRIYANKA BALID,24,always wanted to make a career out of her love for trains.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Published: May 14, 2013 3:22:07 am

PRIYANKA BALID,24,always wanted to make a career out of her love for trains. So when she learnt that Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd was looking to recruit motormen,or Metro pilots,she promptly decided to apply.

“I love the sound of trains and the excitement of being near them. Also,train driving has been a domain of men. I wanted to be different,” said Balid,a mechanical engineering graduate.

Unlike the suburban railway system,in which women in charge of the rake may be a rarity,it is likely to be a routine sight on the city’s first Metro corridor. MMOPL,a Reliance Infrastructure-led consortium,is training around 40 Metro pilots,a fair share of which is women.

MMOPL,however,did not provide the number of men and women in training,saying the total could change depending on how many of them successfully complete the training.

“The training is challenging. Almost every aspect is stringent and demanding. It is not a mundane job and a great avenue for me to inspire young people like me,” said 25-year-old Srikala Nair,who hails from Ulhasnagar.

The training — a mix of theory and experience on simulator —is being conducted by experienced Metro drivers who have received advanced driver training in India,South Korea and China. It also focuses management of crises,such as malfunctions or passenger emergencies.

Over 6,000 people applied to be Metro pilots for Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro,which will be commissioned partially from Versova to the Airport road station by September and fully by year-end. A graduate degree in science with maths and physics as mandatory subjects was the minimum qualification that aspirants had to meet.

The Research Design and Standards Organisation of Indian Railways conducted the hiring process,involving medical,IQ,memory,observation,personality and aptitude tests. After the stringent procedure,two rounds of interviews and a physical test to identify reaction time,MMOPL chose 40 candidates — most of them in their early or mid 20s. To operate the entire line,which will be commissioned in the second phase,MMOPL will need at least 50 pilots.

These pilots will be put on the job only after they receive a certificate of competency on successful completion of training.

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