Tamil Nadu

COVID-19: Railway Board relaxes norms on mandatory breathalyser test, biometric verification

The relaxation, for loco running staff, is valid until April 14, as all passenger train services have been suspended until then under the country-wide lockdown

The Railway Board has authorised Zonal Railways to decide on relaxing rules on the mandatory usage of breathalyser tests and biometric verification for loco running staff.

A circular has been issued on Friday after loco running staff had expressed apprehension about contracting COVID-19 infections while using same breath analyser (BA) and biometric devices.

The circular said that both BA tests and biometric verifications could be relaxed only for the crew members operating goods trains in those sections where no other passenger trains are run or anticipated at any given point of time in either directions.

The circular is valid till April 14 until when all passenger train services have been suspended under the nation-wide lockdown.

The relaxation is not applicable to members with a known history of alcoholism.

The circular also said that a declaration instead of BA test has to be taken from each crew member at the time of signing on and sending off duty.

General Managers have been instructed to adopt the practice of manual signing instead of biometric attendance system as was done prior to introduction of biometric verification.

The present relaxation was formulated as a very special case considering the critical situation and should not be quoted for any other situation in future.

Various railway unions had been objecting to the crew members being compulsorily subjected to breath analyser tests and biometric verification.

They complained that while biometric verification had been suspended for all government employees, including the Railways employees, the Railway Board however made it mandatory for running staff.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 6:22:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/covid-19-railway-board-relaxes-norms-on-mandatory-breathalyser-test-biometric-verification/article31180433.ece

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