For the last week, the Western Railway (WR) staff have had to beeline outside its workshop at Lower Parel to register their attendance at the access control gate and facial recognition system. The queue, sometimes over a 100 metres long, would start in the morning and lead to crowding at the railway premises, claim unions. However, on July 27, authorities bypassed the access control gate to prevent queuing.
"There were no lines today for attendance. The biometric system at the entrance gate is linked to the access control system. To prevent crowding at 7am and 4pm, when there is maximum rush, only the biometric system is being used. The access control system has been bypassed temporarily till the staff get accustomed to it," said Sumit Thakur, chief public relations officer, WR.
The railway staff had been complaining that the biometric system mandates that employees are physically verified. This was mainly to ensure transparency and authentication. "If we fail to mark the attendance within a stipulated time, then it gets marked as half day. The rail administration should do something about it as people come all the way from Kalyan, Badlapur and Virar. Marking the attendance takes a long time and this queue makes it frustrating. Plus, we are not able to maintain a safe distance when it’s most needed," said a railway employee.
The employees have complained that the facial recognition system is also an issue. The staff have to remove their mask in order to scan their face.
The rail administration, on the other hand, claims that this facial recognition system is better than the biometric system that needed a finger to be tapped on the system. They also blame the manual attendance that is misused.
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