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On female pilots’ complaint, Railways installs toilets in locomotives

The Railway Board has begun soliciting inputs from the running personnel regarding the installation of urinals in every locomotive, which may affect thousands of loco pilots (train drivers).

Anjali Bhatia | New Delhi |

About one thousand female pilots working in the Indian Railways are forced to work under abject conditions due to non-availability of toilets in the locomotives. A member of the Railway Board deposited all the locomotives at the Delhi Railway Station in which various types of toilets and urinals have been installed under a pilot project.

The Railway Board has begun soliciting inputs from the running personnel regarding the installation of urinals in every locomotive, which may affect thousands of loco pilots (train drivers). Following that, the board will decide whether to install urinals in the locomotives. This will benefit female assistants and loco pilots in particular.

They have to perform their duties by donning sanitary pads since they have to deal with the natural call while the train is moving.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 25 April 2016, ordered the Railway Board to install toilets and ACs in all locomotives. Consequent to this, the board had assured the NHRC that toilets would be installed in all locomotives. After six years, the Railways has been able to install AC in 2672 locos (electric) and toilets (water closet) in 97 locos.

The board has issued orders to the chief electrical locomotive engineers (CELEs) of all 17 zonal railways last week to take feedback from the running staff (assistant loco pilot and loco pilot).

Zonal officers i.e. CELEs are taking feedback from the running staff on mobile from loco pilots. The above type of feedback is taken from the users before implementing the new system in the railways. After this, the Railway Board will decide on the installation of urinals. However, IRLO, the association associated with loco pilots, is not satisfied with this decision of the Railway Board. They argue that there is a need to install toilets instead of urinals in the loco.