Railways deploys women for night patrolling

Thiruvananthapuram: Many track stretches under the jurisdiction of Thiruvananthapuram Division are not patrolled by trackmen for the last many days, following protests raised against the decision to deploy women for night patrolling.
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When the rainy season began, the authorities had deployed 320 women for monsoon special track patrolling. They were supposed to work from 9pm to 4am and check whether the rains have damaged the tracks. However, the decision to deploy women on night duty along the deserted tracks received stiff protests from the workers’ union. Now, none of the women go for the work. Meanwhile, men are taking up double and triple duty in many stretches, while remaining stretches are completely ignored.

“It is the duty of the track man/woman to check the tracks at night and inform whether there is any damage on track, owing to flood, tree fall, land slide, etc. Since the state receives maximum rains during this season, the chances of such incidents are high. However, it was not a wise decision from the part of administration to deploy women for the night duty,” said a senior railway engineer.

When contacted, a senior administration officer said the decision to deploy women was unintentional. “In fact, it was girls – mostly graduate and post graduate – who cleared the tests held to various posts of the engineering department. Incidentally, it was not mentioned in the advertisement that the vacancy is for the post of track man/woman. Now, following protests from the unions we have decided not to send the women for night patrolling. The trackmen are now forced to take up double and triple duties,” said the officer.

The division has 12 sections under it, starting from Nagercoil till Vallathole Nagar. At least 200 track men/track woman work under each section and check the tracks regularly. The workers’ unions are now planning to start protest against the administration for the work allotment that has been in place for the last one year.

Thiruvananthapuram: If you are traveling by train under the jurisdiction of Thiruvananthapuram Division at night, spare a prayer before you board the train. For, many track stretches under the division is not patrolled by trackmen for the past many days.

The reason: The authorities deployed 320 women for the patrolling job at the beginning of the monsoon special track patrolling. They were supposed to work from 9 pm to 4 am walking along the track all the night alone and check whether the rains have damaged the tracks or not. The decision to deploy women on night duty along the deserted tracks received stiff protests from the workers’ union. Now, none of the women go on night duty; men are taking up double and triple duty in many stretches, while remaining stretches are completely ignored.

“It is the duty of the track man/woman to check the tracks at night and inform whether there is any damage on track owing to flood, tree fall, land slide, etc. Since the State receives maximum rains during this season, the chances of such incidents are high. However, it was not a wise decision from the part of administration to deploy women for the night duty,” said a senior railway engineer.

When contacted, a senior administration officer said the decision to deploy women was unintentional. “Actually, it was girls – mostly graduate and post graduate – who cleared the test held to various posts of engineering department. Incidentally it was not mentioned in the advertisement that the vacancy is in the post of track man/woman. Now, following protest from the unions we have decided not to send women on night patrolling duty. The trackmen are now forced to take up double and triple duty,” said the officer.

The division has 12 sections under it starting from Nagercoil till Vallathole Nagar. At least 200 trackmen/track woman work under each section to take care of the tracks.

The workers’ unions are now planning to start protest against the administration for brainless work allotment that has been in place for the past one year.

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