In 2017, train accidents in the country have resulted in over 300 deaths. So in order to ensure passenger safety, railway officials have now been strictly barred from using WhatsApp when they are on duty. Besides, officials have deemed the messaging app as a 'major distraction' among the workers and thus has taken the decision to completely curb WhatsApp usage among the employees.
India Today reports that a circular has been already been issued by the Delhi division of Indian Railways to its entire staff that includes drivers, guards, and TTEs, asking them not to use the messaging app during duty hours. Anyone violating the orders would face severe consequences, the circular noted.
A railway official has commented, "It was noted that several of the staff associated with the safety department or the operational staff were indulging in WhatsApp and YouTube during working hours. This caused major distraction and thus compromised passenger safety. They have been told not to use these apps and entertainment medium and perform their duty with greater efficiency and alertness."
The move comes in the wake of a series of rail accidents and the new circular will be applicable to all maintenance and safety staff such as trackmen, gang men guard on railway crossings, loco pilots, and train guards as well. Further, station managers and superintendents will be prohibited from using WhatsApp on duty.
The circular will not only be valid in Delhi but all other stations as well. A senior railway official has stated that eventually the order will be issued across all railway divisions.