An association of railway station masters has opposed the Railway Board's decision to appoint new station managers or in-charge from other departments of the national transporter.
All India Station Masters Association (AISMA) said it will hold a protest rally at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai on December 16 against the decision to appoint station in-charge from other cadre at the 'A1' and 'A' category railway stations under Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) While 'A1' category station is the one which provides annual income of Rs 50 crore or above, 'A' station earns a revenue between Rs 6 crore and Rs 50 crore every year.
"Over 700 station masters working at almost 50 'A' and 'A1' stations under the CR and WR will assemble at Azad Maidan and protest against the Railway Board's decision," Mumbai divisional secretary of AISMA Shashi Jaiswal said today.
"However, there will not be any negative impact on the operations of the trains on the day of protest," he added. AISMA's decision to hold a protest in this regard came at its meeting held in Nagpur recently.
"Apart from our demand not to make station in-charge from other departments, we would also press the railway administration to fill up the vacancies in station masters posts. We also want improvement in working conditions by providing designated offices, furniture, water supply and sanitation facilities at station master's offices and control towers," he said.
In Western Railway, the total strength of station masters is 3,039, while the vacancies are 329, whereas in Central Railway there are 2,788 station masters, while the shortfall is 402.
Listing out some other demands, Jaiswal, said, "Our other long-pending demands are providing four accident hamals (porters) in each shift in case of passenger accidents, a detailed study of all stations to assess work-load and cadre requirements, refresher course and periodical medical examination of all traffic inspectors and provisioning of rooms for porter and pointsmen at all stations and yard.