Western Railway to Introduce Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Card Attendance System Amid Covid Threat


Amid the upsurge in daily Covid cases due to Omicron and Delta variants across Mumbai, railway staff, especially those working in workshops, are concerned about the current attendance system. They want the biometric presence to be suspended for now to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Western Railway is likely to introduce a new model of attendance system using an RFID card.

Senior railway officials said that on December 28, Western Railway general manager Alok Kansal is expected to visit the Lower Parel workshop where this RFID card for access control as well as the network of CCTV should be started. This is apparently in place of a biometric system.

Sources said that an access control system based on a radio frequency identification (RFID) card would allow their staff to simply enter the access door and enter and exit the workshop, thus preventing employees from physically touching the attendance system. This is similar to the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar metro line system used by passengers.

“The access control-based RFID card will also reduce downtime for clocking in and out. We have also implemented a facial recognition mechanism for attendance,” an official said. by Western Railway.

The railway unions opposed the biometric presence system with the employees as well. During the Covid era earlier in July, when employees were present, there were cases where the queues to mark attendance increased by half a mile or more, which also caused shouts of joy from employees and political parties.

Sharif Pathan, President of Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh, said, “We have asked the administration to shut down the biometric attendance system and revert to the manual system or some other system. Employees should also be able to participate every other day. In addition, now this third dose of vaccine has been announced, our frontline staff should be administered with “.

Likewise, on the central railway, authorities say that despite the increase in Covid cases, they would be able to maintain operations and work.

“We are constantly monitoring patient status, drug stock, oxygen supply and other factors to make sure our employees are in good health. We will follow the rules decided by the state government.” , said Anil Kumar Lahoti, managing director, Central Railway.

Currently, rail authorities say there have been no recent meetings with the government of Maharashtra regarding the increase in Covid cases.

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Posted on: Sunday December 26th, 2021 8:37 PM IST


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