New Delhi: The Railway Board has decided to upgrade the existing breath analysers used to test the blood alcohol (BAC) levels of loco pilots, official said.
The existing devices will be upgraded with the latest specifications issued by the Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) of Indian Railways, the official said. This is expected to eliminate possible deviations in the test results.
The decision to upgrade was necessitated after repeated complaints of anomalies in test results were reported in the older version.
The board has also decided to do away with the second alcohol test which was done for those loco pilots whose blood alcohol levels were found to be positive after the first test.
"This means that those whose BAC's are found to be positive will be directly sent for medical examination instead of a second test," the official said.
According to the present norms, loco pilots of passenger and freight trains have to take the alcohol tests before and after the train journey.
The loco pilot will be authorised to drive the train only if the alcohol test value is 0.1 mg per 100 ml of blood or less.
"The second alcohol test was done away with as there was a risk that those who fail the first test may make it through the second test which could put passengers at risk. The medical test is a more sure shot method," the official said.
The board has also directed the zones to link the upgraded breath analysers with the Crew Management System (CMI), a software that maintains records of railway employees. This will enable the national transporter to keep track of drivers who regularly fail the test, the official said.
Currently, if a loco pilot is found positive with alcohol level ranging between 20 mg and 40 mg, before and after the journey for the second time, he or she can be removed from service. However, the board has reduced the punishment for loco pilots to only penalty for alcohol level between 1 and 40 gm after the journey....