Mumbai: Motormen Shortage Hits Central Railway, Poses Safety Concerns

Mumbai: Motormen Shortage Hits Central Railway, Poses Safety Concerns

30% of motorman positions vacant; 763 motormen on roll out of the sanctioned 1,076 posts

Kamal MishraUpdated: Friday, March 01, 2024, 12:16 AM IST
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The Mumbai division of Central Railway (CR) is currently grappling with a critical shortage of motormen. According to a recent RTI reply filled by an activist Ajay Bose, nearly 30% of motorman positions are vacant, with only 763 motormen on roll out of the sanctioned 1,076 posts.

One motorman, who chose not to be quoted, expressed worries about taking leave during summer holidays due to the shortage.

Shortage raise concerns among employees

“This shortage has not only raised concerns among motormen but also poses operational challenges, impacting the efficiency and safety of Mumbai’s suburban rail network of CR, which comprises 1,810 local services. The increased workload on the existing motormen has forced many to work overtime, leading to concerns about fatigue and potential safety risks,” said Bose.

“This situation not only affects the well-being of the workforce but also raises questions about the overall reliability of the extensive rail network, as commuters may face disruptions and delays,” said a passenger activist.

Railway authorities should address situation promptly

Bose, who brought attention to this staffing crisis, emphasised the urgency for railway authorities to address the situation promptly. He highlighted the need for expedited recruitment processes and strategic measures to fill the vacant motorman positions, alleviating the strain on the existing workforce.

The activist also uncovered a lack of record-keeping regarding the duty hours performed by motormen during their 14-day schedules.

In response to Bose’s inquiry about duty hours during the first half of February 2024, Sunil Bairwa, senior divisional electrical engineer (TRO) of Mumbai division, stated that such information is not maintained by this office.

“This revelation adds another layer to the challenges faced by the railway authorities in overseeing the workforce,” further added Bose.

Total sanctioned posts of motorman: 1,076

On roll: 763

Vacant posts: 313

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