Between 6.35 pm and 7.14 pm yesterday, trains on every platform at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus were inert, which had a snowball effect on services for the next few hours
Thousands of travellers were at the receiving end of arm-twisting by a Central Railway (CR) workers’ union during peak evening hours yesterday. Services came to a standstill after the motormen stopped work to protest action against a colleague. Motorman Vivek Sisodiya had been suspended by CR authorities for misconduct.
People waiting for trains at CST after a flash strike by motormen. Pic/Emmanual Karbhari
Railway officials claim that on January 7, Sisodiya and some office bearers of Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) assaulted the Assistant Commercial Manager (ACM) (Reservation) inside his chamber. An ACM is of officer rank, and is in-charge of handling staff.
According to an official note sent by the Central Railway Promotee Officers Association (CRPOA), S Tripathi, the ACM, was targeted, manhandled and abused by members of CRMS. Sources said that Tripathi was only following rules of delegating rotational work hours, which didn’t go down well with the union.
Over the next couple of days, the officers’ association across CR opposed this assault and, consequently, even boycotted the Permanent Negotiation Meeting with the union one among a few such instances on record. Finally, railway authorities from Mumbai division suspended Sisodiya for this behaviour.
“An inquiry was also conducted into this incident by the CR authorities,” said a senior railway official. However, the aftermath turned ugly for commuters yesterday when the motormen went on a flash strike and stopped all train services on both main and harbour lines from CST.
“Services were affected between 6.35 pm and 7.14 pm, during which trains on every platform at CST stopped,” said Atul Rane, chief PRO, CR. Most of the trains between CST and Dadar were stuck, and there was bunching, thus causing delay in services by 45 minutes during evening hours.
Hundreds were trapped at platforms across all the stations on CR, especially CST, Masjid Bunder, Dadar, Kurla and Thane, as no train was moving. This incident prompted CR authorities to revoke the suspension order against Sisodiya.
Number of services cancelled by CR till 9 pm
Number of passengers that travel on the central line every day
Number of suburban trains that operate from CST