9 SWR loco pilots from Bengaluru division failed alcohol test from 2017 to 2021 | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Nine loco pilots in Bengaluru division of South Western Railway (SWR) failed in breathalyser tests conducted from 2017 to 2021.
Responding to an RTI application filed by TOI, the division said: “Nine loco pilots failed in alcohol test in Bengaluru division from 2017 to 2021… Running staff are mandated to undergo breathalyser before reporting for duty.”

The other two divisions in SWR zone – Mysuru and Hubballi – said no loco pilots in their jurisdiction failed in breathalyser tests. SWR operates several long-distance, suburban and freight train services, and loco pilots reporting for work drunk will put passengers at risk.
“Random surprise checks are also being carried out. In case of an untoward incident, staff will be allowed to be on duty only after the results of post-accident medical examination,” said an official.
“For an alcohol level of 1-20mg/100ml blood, they will not be allowed to perform duty and endorsement will be made in the service records. For alcohol level of more than 21mg/100ml of blood or second instance of alcohol level of 1-20mg, we will remove them from service itself,” the official said.
However, many loco pilots said they are stressed because of severe staff shortage and long working hours.
An office-bearer of All India Loco Running Staff Association said: “There are nearly 2,500 loco pilots and assistant loco pilots in SWR. In Bengaluru, there are nearly 800 staffers. So, the number of loco pilots who failed the alcohol test is not significant. Every day, an average of 150 staff are being checked in Bengaluru division alone. Some medicines or fruits also give false breathalyser test results. Years ago, people used to attend night parties and report for duty the next morning. But such cases have reduced now.”

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Sagar Biswas

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