Railways to hire three times more assistant loco pilots than planned earlier | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways announced on Tuesday that it would hire three times more assistant loco pilots (ALPs) than planned as part of efforts to bolster safety. In a circular to general managers, the Railway Board said 18,799 ALPs should be hired across zones instead of the 5,696 planned earlier.
The decision comes a day after the fatal rail accident involving an express and a cargo train in West Bengal.
While the zones have been asked to process the decision immediately, filling up the vacancies is expected to take at least six months as the posts have to be notified and candidates need to pass written, aptitude and medical tests. The ALPs will have to undergo training before being deployed.
“This decision aims to meet the growing demand for skilled personnel in the railway sector and underscores the government’s commitment to enhancing employment opportunities across the country,” an official said.
The board directed zones to take “immediate action” to fill the enhanced vacancies of ALPs in consultation with the Railway Recruitment Board. It said the decision was taken after receiving additional demand for ALPs from zonal railways.
Welcoming the decision, V Balachandran, central organising secretary of All India Loco Running Staff Association, said they had earlier sought an increase in ALP vacancies. “Railway Board has now approved it. This will reduce the burden on the system to a certain extent. There is a need to review the present norm of manpower requirement considering the present rest demands and inter-railway transfer requests,” he added.
Loco pilots’ organisations have been demanding a reduction in the long working hours of drivers.
Earlier in the day, Congress had alleged that 21% posts of loco pilots and 8% of assistant loco pilots were vacant.

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