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Loco pilots apprise Rahul of their issues at NDLS

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday met loco pilots, who drive the trains of Indian Railways, and discussed their issues. This comes a day after Rahul Gandhi met daily labourers in GTB Nagar area of the national capital. On Friday afternoon, soon after returning from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, Rahul Gandhi met around 50 loco pilots […]

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday met loco pilots, who drive the trains of Indian Railways, and discussed their issues. This comes a day after Rahul Gandhi met daily labourers in GTB Nagar area of the national capital.

On Friday afternoon, soon after returning from Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras, Rahul Gandhi met around 50 loco pilots from all over India at the New Delhi railway station at 12:30 pm. During his meeting, the loco pilots explained him about their issues.

According to Congress party leaders, loco pilots complained to him of inadequate rest. The party claimed that the loco pilots complained that they drive trains over long distances, far from home, and are often pressed into duty without adequate breaks, which causes great stress and lapses in concentration which is a major cause of accidents.

The party claimed that this has been acknowledged by the Railways in multiple reports including the recent probe in the accident in Visakhapatnam. It also said that the loco pilots also put forth their demand of a weekly rest of 46 hours.

“This means a train driver returning home on Friday afternoon will return to duty not before Sunday morning. The Railways Act 1989 and other rules already provide for 30 + 16 hours of rest per week, which is not being implemented. Airplane pilots typically also get this quantity of rest. They also demand that two consecutive nights of duty should be followed by one night of rest, and trains should have basic amenities for drivers,” the party claimed.

The lack of rest is caused by understaffing due to the government halting all recruitment of loco pilots. Over the past 4 years, the railways recruitment board has not recruited even a single loco pilot despite tens of thousands of vacancies. The pilots expressed their fear that this deliberate move is a plan by the Modi government to privatize the railways, it said.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi assured the loco pilots that he has been consistently raising the issue of railway privatisation and lack of recruitment. He listened to their concerns and fully supported their demand for adequate rest. He expressed hope that this would significantly reduce accidents.

“As Leader of the Opposition, he promised to take up their demands with the government,” the party said. This is not first time that the Congress MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli has surprised the people.

Last year he had met the coolies of the railways at the Anand Vihar railway station and discussed their issues. In April last year, he went out in the national capital and had food with the public in Bengali Market area and Jama Masjid area.

After some days, he again visited the North Campus of Delhi University and also made surprise visit to Mirthal in Haryana, from where he drove on trucks to Ambala to understand the problems faced by the truck drivers.

He also held discussions with the farmers after visiting the farm lands in Haryana’s Sonepat area during the sowing season in June last year.

He also had visited the Azadpur mandi in the national capital last year. He had also invited a vegetable vendor, whose video went viral on social media after he was unable to buy vegetables amid the soaring vegetable prices.

He had also interacted with the carpenters at Delhi’s Kirti Nagar furniture market.

Rahul Gandhi had also interacted with the people and mechanics during his visit to Karol bagh and then also drove from Kargil to Ladakh in Augist last year from his bike.

After Bharat Jodo Yatra conclusion on January 30, 2023, Rahul Gandhi has been holding such brief discussion with the public and discussing their issues.

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