Signal and Telecommunication employees of Indian Railways will observe one-day silence vow and hunger fast by tying black bands on March 14 for their demands


Letter from Indian Railway Signal & Telecommunication Maintainers Union (IRSTMU) to the Prime Minister

(Translation of letter in Hindi)

Indian Railway Signal & Telecommunication Maintainers Union

Sr. No.: IRSTMU/8D/PMO/02/01
Date: 07.02.2024

Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi ji
Hon’ble Prime Minister
Government of India
New Delhi

Subject: Regarding Signal & Telecommunication workers observing one-day hunger fast, silence vow, and black day on 14 March 2024


As workers of Signal & Telecommunication department and representatives of Indian Railways S&T Maintainers Union, we wish to make the following request:

  1. On 22 January 2024, three workers of the S&T department in Western Railways, Mumbai—Shri Vasu Mitra (Senior Section Engineer/Signal), Shri Somnath Uttam Lambutre (Signal Maintainer) and Shri Sachin Vankhade (Assistant Signal)—were run over at KM 49/18 of Vasai Road Station by train number VR-90910 UP/LL at 20:55.
  2. Five days after this, on 27 January 2024, senior technician Shri Sanjay Kumar Sinha ji was run over at Rundhi station, Agra Division, Northern Central Railways, during track circuit failure at 07:55.
  3. Again, on 6 February 2024, two S&T department employees—Shri Sudhansu Kumar, Technician-1, and Shri Hardev, Assistant—were run over at Pusauli Station, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Division, Eastern Central Railways.

Six S&T department employees have died in only 16 days. Indian Railways S&T Maintainers Union requests you to conduct judicial investigation into these terrible accidents. Moreover, hundreds of workers of the S&T department have been run over or killed in accidents during duty over the last 4-5 years. After S&T workers are run over, they are treated inhumanely, which has severely lowered the morale of S&T workers. Every year, more than two dozen (24) S&T workers are run over or killed during duty or killed by the local public during LC gate repair.

In this context, we have informed you about the predicament of S&T department workers several times. A committee on risk and hardship allowance was constituted in 2019. However, no such allowance has been given to S&T workers till date. Moreover, neither has the violation of HOER 2005 rules been stopped nor has night duty failure gang been established.

Without any duty roster, we are called to work after our working hours to address signal failure, which is in violation of HOER 2005 rules. We do not receive any allowance to compensate for this. If we make any mistake due to sleep deprivation, we have to face chargesheets and suspensions, and we are even removed from service many a times. According to our data, most chargesheets (about 70%) are given to ESMs in S&T department. Additionally, as S&T workers work without a roster, they lead an irregular lifestyle and suffer heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and other dangerous diseases. Our mistakes have led to many big accidents, such as the Balasore accident, for which three of our comrades are still jailed by the CBI. We request you to give justice to our three comrades as soon as possible by determining the root cause of the problem and releasing our comrades. Dissatisfaction among S&T workers is increasing due to the neglect of our workers by the management. Despite the hard work of S&T workers, our three main demands are not being fulfilled.

  1. Providing risk and hardship allowance
  2. Establishing night duty failure gang
  3. Putting a stop to violation of HOER 2005 rules

Paying homage to all S&T workers who have been martyred till now, workers of the S&T department in the entire Indian Railways will observe 14 March 2024 as a black day for the fourth time for our demands of risk and hardship allowance, establishing night duty failure gang, and ending violation of HOER 2005 rules. We will wear black bands on our right arms and observe silence vow and hunger fast for the full day from 8:00 to 18:00 while continuing to serve the railways and our country and submit a memorandum to you, sir, in the evening.

Before this, we have observed black days and organized silence and hunger fasts while serving the railways and the country and informed you about our problems on 27 September 2016, 9 February 2019, 31 October 2020, and 9 February 2022. However, no concrete steps have been taken till date, which has led us to despair. We request you to take our demands seriously and fulfil all our important demands as soon as possible.

We, S&T department workers will always be grateful to you. You have taken many historic decisions and won the hearts of Indian citizens. Please show your kindness to the workers of the S&T department once again.

Thank you,
Yours faithfully,

Alok Chandra Prakash
General Secretary
Indian Railways S&T Maintainers’ Union



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments