Doubts on BMRCL’s plans after mishap by ERT staffer

Doubts on BMRCL’s plans after mishap by ERT staffer

A minor accident caused by a member of the Namma Metro’s emergency response team (ERT) has raised doubts on the BMRCL’s decision to use such personnel in case employees go on a strike.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has trained personnel deployed in maintenance and project wings to run trains and perform other functions necessary to keep the Namma Metro running.

The more than 130-member team is supposed to take over the operations if the regular employees resort to strike.

Sources in the BMRCL said on April 21, a member of the ERT was shunting a train when the vehicle hit the barrier placed to prevent trains from going past the end of the track at Byappanahalli depot. The incident has led employees to question the eligibility of the ERT to run trains.

Interestingly, the incident took place days before the BMRCL Employees Union called for a strike, which was later put in abeyance by the Karnataka High Court.

“The collision was minor and the BMRCL need not spend for any damages. Necessary action will be taken to ensure such incidents will not happen again,” an official said.

Vice president of the employees union Suryanarayana Murthy said two such incidents have taken place previously but have not come to the public notice.

Playing with people’s life

“We have repeatedly told the BMRCL management that using an ERT that has people who are not eligible to run trains will violate the safety of the passengers. Deploying such personnel is nothing less than playing with the lives of people,” he said.

Another source said the ERT member, responsible for the mistake, did not inform the superiors, which may have led to the possibility of train operators taking the blame.

Murthy said there was no use in taking action against the ERT member.

“Those in the ERT do not have proper training in train operations. We will urge the management to abolish such teams keeping in mind the safety of passengers,” he said.

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