The railways will build toilets in locomotives at the request of locomotive drivers

NEW DELHI : Indian Railways decided to build urinals in locomotive engines after more than 10,000 train drivers requested them from the national carrier at the earliest. In an internal investigation last month, locomotive drivers unanimously recommended that the national carrier build urinals into the engines because these locomotive drivers, in the event of an emergency, are forced to leave the locomotives to respond to the call of nature in the open air.

The survey was carried out after female pilots raised objections about their difficulties in carrying out their duty without a toilet inside the locomotives. “A survey was carried out on all zonal railways last month, in which 10,191 locomotive drivers took part. The pilot unanimously recommended the provision of urinals in locomotives,” a railway official said, adding that 382 female pilots took part in the survey.

Indian Railways has over 1,000 female pilots.

The pilots, even citing safety concerns, had expressed discomfort with carrying out their duties without the provision of toilets for them.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on 25 April 2016 ordered the Railway Board to install toilets and air conditioners in all locomotives, which the board agreed to.

To assure the NHRC, Indian Railways has also installed toilets in 97 engines as pilot projects, and officials said the railways will now finalize one of the designs for these 97 toilets.

Female members of the All India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) said female loco pilots avoid taking up their duties and prefer office jobs due to the lack of toilet facilities, especially during the winter season.

“The problems arise more during the winters, as female pilots have no toilets available and are forced to rush to the coach toilets when the train reaches a station. Fearing such problems, female pilots prefer to take desk jobs during extreme winters,” said one locomotive pilot, adding that she was glad the national carrier was finally building urinals.

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