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Kanchanjunga Express tragedy: Railways raises assistant loco pilot hirings from 5,696 to 18,799 post accident

Railways announced that it would hire three times more assistant loco pilots (ALPs) than planned as part of efforts to bolster safety. In a circular to general managers, the Railway Board said 18,799 ALPs should be hired across zones, instead of the 5,696 planned earlier.

Kanchanjunga Express tragedy: Railways raises assistant loco pilot hirings from 5,696 to 18,799 post accident gcw
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First Published Jun 19, 2024, 11:56 AM IST

In the wake of the recent fatal Kanchanjunga Express collision with a cargo train in West Bengal, the Indian Railways has announced plans to significantly increase the number of assistant loco pilots (ALPs) being hired across the country. According to a circular issued by the Railway Board, the number of ALPs to be hired has been tripled, from the previously planned 5,696 to 18,799 across various railway zones. 

This decision aims to address the growing demand for skilled personnel in the railway sector and enhance safety measures. The Railway Board has directed the zonal railways to immediately process the increased vacancies and initiate the recruitment process. However, filling up these positions is expected to take at least six months, as the candidates need to go through written, aptitude, and medical tests, followed by the required training before being deployed.

"This decision aims to meet the growing demand for skilled personnel in the railway sector and underscores the government's commitment to enhancing employment opportunities across the country," a senior railway official was quoted as saying in a TOI report.

The move has been welcomed by the All India Loco Running Staff Association, whose central organizing secretary, V Balachandran, had previously sought an increase in ALP vacancies. 

Balachandran acknowledged that the Railway Board's decision will help reduce the burden on the system to a certain extent, but he also emphasized the need to review the current norms of manpower requirements, considering the present rest demands and inter-railway transfer requests.

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