Railway staff blame administration, allege violation of safety norms
From our Correspondent
Bongaigaon, March 1: A female Railway staff member died on duty on Tuesday at the Bongaigaon Railway Engineering Workshop.
The deceased has been identified as Mamoni Chanda (46), a resident of New Colony area of Bongaigaon Railway Colony and a Machinist Grade II by profession. She was running a drill machine inside the workshop at around 9 am when somehow she went inside the machine and the machine smashed her body. She died on the spot.
Talking to media persons, Bhaben Das, an eyewitness and colleague of Mamoni said that he heard the shouts of Mamoni. “I was approximately 50 metres away from her, working in my shed. I heard her shout and noticed that her body had gone inside the machine. I immediately ran and switched off the main switch but till then it was too late. She was already dead. Then I shouted and all our staff gathered,” he said.
The staff claimed that this happened due to negligence of railway administration. “There was a massive safety violation here. Actually in running a drill machine, three staff members are needed along with a supervisor rank staff. But the administration forced her to conduct this alone. Actually there is a heavy shortage of staff in this workshop and officers do not want to fill the vacant posts. Actually officers want to show their credit to their higher authorities by running the workshop with minimum staff. This is the only reason that staff members are forced to work alone where two or more are needed.
If another staff member had been present there today, maybe he would have been able to switch off the main switch immediately and the female employee would not have lost her life. Moreover, for safety reasons, safety shoes should be supplied to all staff but this has not happened since the last few years. So, this accident occurred due to such negligence by the administration,” the staff alleged.
Later, NF Railway Mazdoor Union gheraoed the Deputy Chief Engineer of Bongaigaon Engineering Workshop who is the in-charge of this workshop and demanded solving all safety-related problems within 15 days. Talking to media persons, SS Mochahary, Bongaigaon branch secretary of NFRMU said that they had also demanded due compensation and a job for the family member of the victim within one month. “He assured us to fulfil our demand within the due time we have given,” said Mochahary.
Binod Kumar Agarwala, ADRM, Rangia division, was present in Bongaigaon on Tuesday for inspection purpose. He also visited the spot and expressed his deep condolence to the victim’s family. Police arrived on the spot and after registering the case, sent the body for post mortem.