Railway employees protest against ‘corporatisation move’

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 12, 2019 Published on July 12, 2019

The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) along with the Western Railways Mazdoor Sangh staged protests in Mumbai on Thursday, urging the Railway Board to reconsider corporatisation of the Railways.

Major issues raised by workers included outsourcing of production units, leasing of prime railway properties to Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) for commercial development and the handing over of two passenger trains to the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).

Workers alleged that the production units of railways at RCF Kapurthala, ICF Perambur, DLW Varanasi, CLW Chitaranjan and MCF Rae Bareilly are under review for being sold to private entities. MCF has been identified as the first unit to be sold to private operators, according to the union.

Raising the issue of leasing railway properties to RLDA to be used for commercial purposes, J.G.Mahurkar General Secretary Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh & Vice President, National Federation of Indian Railwaymen said: “Railway administration has taken an arbitrary decision to lease prime railway properties to Railway Land Development Authority who would in turn outsource these properties to various developers.”

“... There is a strong feeling of displeasure among the railwaymen as these prime railway land in Mumbai which are national assets are being leased out for pecuniary commercial gains,” said Mahurkar.

Another major concern raised by the workers is the reported decision to allow private players run Tejas Express from Delhi to Lucknow. M. Raghavaiah, General Secretary, NFIR, in a letter to the Railway Board on Friday, said: “NFIR requests the Railway Board to consider the matter as the Federation opposes the working of train by persons belonging to private party and such an attempt will also not be conducive in the interest of safety of travelling public.”

Protests on similar issues have been held by Railway Unions in the past across the country including Mysore and Varanasi as per reports.

The writer is an intern with BusinessLine, Mumbai Bureau

Published on July 12, 2019
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