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Event Title: Senate Committee on Railways stresses need for authentic medical and psychological testing of staff

Event Date: 2019-07-24

The Senate Standing Committee on Railways in its meeting on Wednesday, while discussing increase in incidences of train derailments directed the Ministry to conduct stringent medical and psychological examinations of railway staff to ensure that personnel are physically and mentally fit.   

The Committee showed grave concern regarding increasing railway incidents that have cost precious lives and numerous casualties and recommended that train drivers must be provided with an environment where it is mandatory for them to take ample rest.  It was asserted that a workable program must be devised to ensure this. It was also recommended that CCTV cameras be installed to monitor driver movement.  It was also suggested that a committee be formed to evaluate personal issues faced by railway staff, especially the drivers, to ensure that they are not mentally stressed while performing their duties. 

The Committee was informed that medical examination of staff is conducted on a regular basis. Discussing education and training, the Committee was informed that  a minimum qualification of FSc is imperative for recruitment after which a two year simulator training course is completed. It was also revealed that every engine is installed with a tracker to monitor speed.  It was revealed that an internal investigation was underway which is due to be completed within 10 days.  Chairman Committee, Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo directed the Ministry that medical reports of the driver and the station master must be submitted to the Committee, including tests taken after the accident to determine drug usage. 

The meeting was chaired by Senator Asad Ali Khan Junejo,  and attended by Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senator Brig (R) John Kenneth Williams, Senator Rana Mahmood ul Hassan, Senator Khanzada Khan, Senator Gianchand, Senator Liaqat Khan Tarakai and senior officers of the Ministry of Railways along with all concerned.