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'Attempt to demoralise with fake news will fail': Ashwini Vaishnaw on concerns around loco pilots

Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw took to X, formerly Twitter, to address the concern surrounding the working conditions of loco pilots which have also been highlighted by the Leader of Opposition, Rahul Gandhi.

Attempt to demoralise with fake news will fail': Ashwini Vaishnaw on concerns around loco pilots gcw
First Published Jul 10, 2024, 7:44 PM IST

Countering Congress's offensive on the work conditions of loco pilots, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today accused the Opposition of trying to demoralise the Railway family with fake news. The minister wrote a post on X explaining how the Narendra Modi government improved the working conditions for loco pilots.

According to Vaishnaw, loco pilots are valuable members of the railway community. "Since there is a lot of misinformation and theatrics by opposition to demotivate our Loco pilots, let me make things very clear."

"Duty hours of loco pilots are carefully monitored. Rest is provided meticulously after trips. The average duty hours are maintained within the prescribed hours. The average is less than 8 hours in the month of June this year. Only under exigencies, the trip duration exceed the prescribed hours", Vaishnaw added. 

Loco cabs, from where pilots operate trains, were in a "very bad shape" before 2014, the minister said. The railway minister added that when pilots complete a trip, they come to the running room for rest if they are out of headquarters. Before 2014, running rooms were in very bad shape. Almost all (558) running rooms are now air-conditioned. In many running rooms, foot massagers are also provided.

In the past few years, major recruitment exercise was completed and 34,000 running staff have been recruited. Recruitment process for 18,000 running staff is currently in process.

The Railways minister's rebuttal comes days after Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, said that he met a section of loco pilots at New Delhi station and they complained of "long working hours" and "inadequate facilities".

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