Bhubaneswar: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the railway ministry to provide basic amenities to gatemen posted at different level crossings, a petitioner here said Wednesday.

Acting on a complaint filed by Odisha-based rights activist Akhand, the commission has directed chairman of the Railway Board to take necessary steps within eight weeks.

Akhand stated there are about 18,000 manned railway crossings throughout the country. Nearly 40,000 gateman are employed there who work day and night. But the railway ministry is not worried about their problems, he told IANS.

As there were no drinking water facilities at the gates, they face problem during summer. They don’t even have toilet facility. As a result, they are forced to defecate in nearby fields, the activist said.

It is the duty of the government and the railway ministry to provide drinking water and sanitation facilities for these employees. But they have not taken any steps in this regard, said Akhand.

Acting on this complaint, the commission has ordered the Railway Board to take appropriate action within eight weeks and inform the complainant, he said.

Source: IANS