In order to bring down the workload on station masters (SM) working in wayside stations and to eliminate unmanned level crossings, the railway board has decided to create additional posts to enable them monitor commercial and miscellaneous duties. The move will also enable senior station masters to fully concentrate on ensuring safe train operations by doing line clear duty.
The proposal will help avoid increasing incidents of assaults on gatekeepers and recurring incidents of ruckus at manned level crossings, as a station master dedicatedly appointed for this purpose could focus on timely operations by exchanging information to the gatekeepers who are manning them between stations, an official said. Bifurcation of responsibilities would help the eliminate unmanned level crossings too, he added.
In a letter circulated to divisional operating managers, the board instructed the officials stating that the total number of manned level crossing gates should not be more than 10 in a block section to be controlled by station master of a controlling station. Further, the total number of non-interlocked level crossings should also be not more than five.
With manning of unmanned level crossings, the workload of controlling station master may increase considerably. Hence, for safe train operations and safety in block station, the posts of additional station masters need to be created by the divisions, the circular added. For that, concerned officials are asked to send a proposal in this regard, it further said.
Welcoming the proposal, deputy general secretary of Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU), D Manoharan said railway authorities should create the additional posts immediately without delay.
Station masters’ duties include receiving the trains, dispatching and shunting the formation, operating the panel board, operating black instrument etc. Beyond this, they have the overall control, maintenance, cleanliness of the entire station, Manoharan said.