Motormen on hunger strike: Avoid taking a train today
|By: Sanjeev Devasia|| ||Date:
2010-05-03|| ||Place: Mumbai|
Central, Western railways to deploy shadow motormen to run services
Plan to commute by train today? Maybe you should reconsider your plans.
For Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) motormen plan to run trains on an empty stomach today, demanding higher pay and allowances.
ROADBLOCK: The trains at CST last night. The strike is likely to affect nearly 65 lakh commuters. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
With the city's lifeline likely to be hit, 65 lakh commuters would have to bear the brunt.
"We will go on hunger strike as the fast track committee has not given any assurance yet," said a member of Joint Action Forum comprising CR and WR motormen.
Motormen said that when they report on duty, they would inform their superiors in advance if they did not feel fit enough to motor the train.
The motormen, however, said that if the administration insisted they get to work, they would not abandon duty, the state of their health notwithstanding.
The CR administration is relying on motormen who are part of recognised unions and will report on duty without participating in the hunger strike.
WR has drawn up a plan to bring in personnel trained to motor local trains, but who are not included in the motormen's cadre.
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|Not on track|
|>>Motormen on WR and CR plan a hunger strike today to demand better pay and allowances|
>>Local suburban train services likely to be hit.
CR and WR will deploy other staff to run the trains. Besides:
>>BEST buses and ST buses will be deployed
>>WR has set up phone helpline 10721 and information will be disseminated through the media.
"Their demands mainly relate to higher pay and allowances," a CR official said.
"The Sixth Pay Commission recommendations have been fully implemented. Now, they are demanding higher pay and some additional allowances, which are not in the recommendation of the Sixth Pay Commission."
"With the strike, suburban train services on WR are likely to be severely affected and there will be a major reduction in the number of services particularly during noon/evening hours," said Public Relations Officer of WR, C David.
"The decision on their [motormen's] demands cannot be taken by the Ministry of Railways alone as other ministries are also involved," David said.
On 03/05/10, local train services will be affected due to motormen's agitation. You are requested to use alternate means of transport. Additional buses are deployed.
Extra bus services
Railways have sought help from the state to deploy BEST and MSRTC buses from various stations and for increasing frequency of buses on normal routes.
The CR and WR have appealed to commuters to cooperate.
"Announcements will be made at stations and vital information given to the public through the electronic media. A special helpline number 10721 has also been provided to give out information," David said.