Nagpur: The National Railway Mazdoor Union ( NRMU ) will stage nationwide protests on Wednesday against privatization of train operations among a host of other issues.
General secretary of NRMU Venu P Nair said around 4 lakh employees across all railway zones will protest separately at major stations and their work places. “In Central Railway zone in Maharashtra, at least 30,000 employees will participate,” Nair added.
The NRMU flayed the railway ministry’s decision to hand over operation of Tejas Express between Lucknow-New Delhi (511km) to railway subsidiary IRCTC. The train was commissioned on October 4.
“While a similar train Swarna Shatabdi Express run by the railways takes 6.35 hours to reach Delhi from Lucknow with 5 stoppages, the new Tejas Express reaches in 6.30 hours. Tejas fare is between Rs4,570-3,295, while Shatabdi costs Rs1,855-1,165,” said Nair.
Nair said this is a classic example of how private parties are being pushed to reap monetary benefits from railway infrastructure. “In Mumbai, the Centre is eyeing precious railway land worth crores of rupees to sell it off to the builders. Parel and Matunga workshops are being closed to pave the way for a terminal and remodel Dharavi slums while Byculla printing press is also being closed,” said Nair.
Divisional secretary of NRMU Habib Khan said in Nagpur division, protest will be launched at Ajni, Nagpur, Betul, Amla, Ballarshah and Wardha stations besides DRM office.
“We will reach the people at large to explain how handing over of train operations to private parties would hamper their interest,” said Khan.