Pointsmen of Indian Railways are crucial but neglected

The Operations Department of Indian Railways executes a crucial task in the railways.  They have to discharge very many responsibilities like, taking the empty rakes of passenger or goods trains at terminal stations out of the station, send it for repairs to the workshop, flag signaling of trains at stations where they don’t have scheduled stops, performing minor repairs of the tracks at branching points, etc. The correspondent of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar held a discussion with the pointsmen during which several important issues emerged, which we are presenting below.

It is very unfortunate that there has been no further recruitment of pointsmen even as hundreds of new trains have been introduced. There are more than 300 posts vacant just in the Mumbai division, and an increase of more than 20 trains in Mumbai V.T station alone in the past 5 years. From this, one can get an idea of the situation across the country.

They have to work on shifts of 8 hours. There is no definite time for meals or tea breaks. Because of the paucity in staff, the managers expect that the pointsmen will decide amongst themselves as to how they will take breaks, by turn, for tea and food. There is no arrangement for a canteen even in a station like VT; one can imagine the situation in other smaller stations. These pointsmen get no holidays on national holidays like January 26th or August 15th, because the wheels of the train have to keep running. Although they have to work in exposed areas, they are not provided with adequate uniforms. They are supposed to be given raincoats during the monsoon, but often that reaches them too late. Likewise, their winter clothes are not provided on time.

It is also necessary to pay attention to several issues of safety that have come to light. As soon as a train accident occurs, the Railway administration and Minister lose no time in spreading the word through the media that the accident was due to the carelessness of one or another railway worker. The media too, acts irresponsible and spreads this lie. But are you aware that the pointsmen are not given the essential instruments – red and green torches, for secure shunting of the trains? Many pointsmen buy ordinary torches from their own money and manage the work with this. Even those who have the correct torches are not provided with the batteries required for the torches. When the train is disconnected from the engine, it is necessary to place a wooden wedge in front of the wheels of the last coach so that the coach does not slip. Many times, the wedges are not available in adequate numbers. About two months ago, the coach of the Devagiri Express slipped because there were no wedges in VT station, and a very serious accident was averted because of the response of an alert pointsman who used the wedge from another train.

These were some of the facts we got!

Despite performing such a critical function in the Railways under very difficult conditions, the pointsmen always take out time from their duty to participate in all actions of the railway workers.


Share Everywhere

Defeat Privatisation    Apr 1-15 2012    Struggle for Rights    Rights    


8 Jan General Strike

Call of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee

The all India general strike has been called to resolutely oppose the course of enriching the capitalist minority by impoverishing the toiling majority. It has been called to assert the rights that belong to workers, peasants and other toiling people who create the wealth of India.

Hum Hain Iske Malik! Hindostan Humara!

Election manifesto of a CGPI supported candidate for Lok SabhaParties of the capitalist class claim that there is no alternative to the program of globalisation,liberalisation and privatisation. The truth is that there IS an alternative.The alternative is to reorient the economy to fulfil people’s needs instead of fulfilling capitalist greed. This is the program for the Navnirman of India.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

5th Congress DocumentThe Report to the Fifth Congress of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, presented by Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of the CGPI, on behalf of its Central Committee, was discussed and adopted by the Fifth Congress of the CGPI, held in November 2016. By decision of the Fifth Congress, this report has been edited for publication.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Click to Download PDFThe first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

These Elections are a FarceInterview with Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party of India by Comrade Chandra Bhan, Editor of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)

Manifesto 2014Unite around the program to reconstitute the Indian Republic and reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all!

There is growing realisation among workers, peasants and other self-employed people that the program of liberalisation and privatisation only serves to enrich an exploiting minority at their expense. Mass resistance is growing to this anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national program.

(Click thumbnail to download PDF)