Guwahati, March 7 : For the first time in the history of Indian Railways, Coaching Depot, Guwahati is engaging an All women gang for maintenance of coaches.
With the increase in number of trains from the Guwahati Station, there was an increase in the maintenance needs of the incoming coaches in the pitline at Coach Maintenance Depot, Guwahati.
The pit line is the maintenance facility in any Coach Maintenance Depot for the cleaning and maintenance work of the coaches once a train reaches its termination station.
The Depot has a coach holding of about 1300 and its activities are spread over Kamakhya, Paltan Bazaar and New Guwahati in Guwahati with a total of 6 pitlines and 2 sicklines and a staff of about 1000 technicians. Out of these, about 200 are ladies.
The maintenance work at pit lines has predominantly been in a male domain with work involved in all three shifts requiring the staff to go inside the dockpits for undergear (consisting of wheels and brake system) items attention of the coaches.
The ladies were usually involved in ancillary maintenance works of the coaches related to curtains repair, indication boards painting, etc.
Due to need for increasing maintenance capacity of the pitline at Guwahati, a project was taken up in the month of February 2018 to develop a maintenance gang with only ladies staff.
20 ladies of Technician grade were selected in the Depot as a pilot and they were given classroom training over the various concepts of maintenance involved in a train in pitlines.
After the theoretical training, the batch was given hands-on practical training at pitline with the existing technicians. Special focus has been given on the safety checking aspects of the trains.
This is the first time in Indian Railways that a pure ladies maintenance gang has been engaged in any pitline of a Coach Maintenance Depot.
The gang will be starting the maintenance work after completion of the training on the March 8 on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
“We take responsibilities at home, this is an extension. We are happy that we were chosen for the training. Now we look after the compartments, the mechanical parts and involve ourselves in the maintenance so that the train operations run smoothly,” Hemlina Bajfor, a member of the ‘Nili Gang’ said.
Chief Public Relation Office of N F Railway Pronobjyoti Sharma claimed that it’s the beginning the initiative in the eve of International Women Day shall evolve as a movement in the coming days.
The flagship depot of N F Railway division at Lumbding is among the five biggest depots in the country.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)