Central Railway employees sat on a day-long hunger strike here today against Railway Board's recently launched Yatri Ticket Suvidha Kendra (YTSK) scheme.
Nearly 50 employees of Group C and D, including commercial and running staff, under the banner of Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS), sat on a day-long fast at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus to oppose the Railway Board's decision to permit authorised ticketing agents to book tickets under YTSK scheme that will enable agents to book tickets by applying additional charges on fare. CRMS has termed the move as 'unnecessary' and said it is exploitation of passengers. They demanded the Board to roll back its decision.
President of CRMS R P Bhatnagar said the move is a violation of Contract Labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970 and asked "without making amendments in it, how can Railway violate it by outsourcing private players? Because of corruption prevailing in all departments (of railway) and due to hand in glove dealing with administration and private players, railway is adopting such means of outsourcing," alleged Bhatnagar.
Under the scheme, YTSK operator will levy an additional charge of Rs 30 for Sleeper class (per ticket) and Rs 40 for AC class. "This is just like a fare hike of Rs 30 and 40 and through this an operator will earn Rs 50,000 daily. I ask what kind of benefit Railway and passengers would be getting by this means," he said.
CRMS members observed similar fast in Nagpur, Pune, Solapur and Bhusawal divisions today. "The action of the rail administration is neither in the interest of passengers nor railway staff. The money which is being earned by private players should have gone into the railways' coffer. And what is the guarantee that passengers will not be overcharged," general secretary of CRMS Praveen Bajpayee said.
Meanwhile, a senior CR official said that due consideration would be given when the matter will be put before the right authority at the right time.