No Whatsapp for railway staff: Delhi division of Indian Railways has taken a new step to control the on-going train accidents. The operational staff of the railway has been strictly barred from using Whatsapp while on duty. Railway officials have identified the messaging app as a major distraction while managing train operations and hence sent out instruction not to use it during working hours. This has been issued to its entire operational staff, including drivers, guards TTE and even station managers. anyone found violating the orders shall be dealt with strictly. “It was noted that several staff associated with the safety department or the operational staff were indulging in Whatsapp and Youtube during working hours.This caused major distraction and compromised passenger safety. They have been told not use these apps and entertainment medium and perform their duty with alertness, an official said. Railway board chairman Ashwani Lohani has already asked officers to take all measures to prevent accidents and make rail journey safer.The new circular will be applicable to all maintenance and safety staff such as trackmen, gang men guards on railway crossings, loco pilots and train guards. Even station managers and superintendents who are primarily responsible for operation of trains at their stations will be prohibited from using Whatsapp on duty.Under pressure following a series of train accidents, railway minister Piyush Goyal has given his officials a week’s deadline to clear all railway-related issues and accord top priority to railway safety. He also ordered that 200 officers from the headquarters be assigned to field duty for ground operations and strengthen the safety mechanism.
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