Maintenance of rakes and coaches across the Railways, including in the Bangalore division has been severely hit, as the number of staff has not increased with the increase in the number of passenger trains, claim railway trade union members.

According to a union member who did not wish to be named, it takes at least six hours to get a rake ready before it can undertake a fresh journey. The process includes checking all mechanical and electrical components and cleaning of coaches. However, with the increase in the number of trains, sometimes a train has to be inspected within two hours, he said.

Nairutya Railway Employees’ Union general secretary (SWR) Venkatesh Murthy too agreed that there has been no corresponding increase in the number of employees with the number of trains being introduced every year. SWR’s zonal railway users consultative committee member Prakash Mandoth demanded better safety. It was high time the Railways adapted technology including fire alarm, fire extinguishers, public announcement system, foldable ladder and panic button, he said.

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