Southern Railway’s move on deployment of ex-servicemen welcomed

Associations working for the betterment of public amenities in Adhiramapattinam and other towns in Pattukottai taluk have thanked the Southern Railway for its decision to continue and expand the deployment of ex-servicemen at the railway level crossings in Tiruvarur-Karaikudi section.

The Associations which have closely followed the guage conversion work on this section, heaved a sigh of relief after the introduction of a DEMU (diesel-electric multiple unit) service between Tiruvarur and Karaikudi a few years ago.

However, their expectations were short-lived as the operation of this service failed to serve the purpose since the train was operated on this route with ‘on-board’ level crossing gate (LCG) keepers a concept hitherto not witnessed by the commuters.

Subsequently, several suggestions such as roping in the local bodies to shoulder the responsibility of manning the LCGs and deployment of ex-servicemen as gate keepers were mooted by the Associations such as the Shamsul Islam Sangam Muhalla Australia (SISMA), New South Wales, Australia, the Adiramapattinam Rural Development Association, Adiramapattinam and the Pattukottai Taluk Railway Passengers’ Welfare Association, Pattukottai and were passed on to the Railway Board through the Members of Parliament elected from Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts.

Following these representations, a group of ex-servicemen were engaged for the operation of around two dozen LCGs on a pilot basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, sources said.

But a few months back these ex-servicemen were shown the doors and the DEMU service was revived with ‘on-board’ gate keepers agonising the rail users.

Meanwhile, the Associations have managed to get the attention of the MPs once again and succeeded in impressing upon the Southern Railway to continue with the deployment of ex-servicemen at the LCGs in this section.

Thus they have thanked the concerned Southern Railway officials for thrashing out a permanent solution to do away with the ‘on-board’ gate keepers concept which has given rise to the expectation of operation of regular train services on this section.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 9:00:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/southern-railways-move-on-deployment-of-ex-servicemen-welcomed/article37109767.ece

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