CR union to protest for passenger safety

NRMU has level serious allegations against the CR by accusing it of lapses in basic safety standards while running trains, reports Rajendra Aklekar.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 22:10 IST

Central Railway (CR) workers are planning a mass casual leave and hunger strike for passenger safety. To begin with on December 27, the National Railway Mazdoor Union (NRMU) has decided to take out a mass protest of track staff, office bearers and activists to protests against the falling safety standards of Central Railway.

The NRMU has leveled serious allegations against the CR by accusing it of compromising passenger safety and lapses in maintaining basic safety standards while running trains.

"On December 12, in a tunnel on the Karjat-Panvel section, one railway employee was killed and five others injured when a boulder collapsed on a track. Without checking the condition of the tunnel, senior railway officials, in a hurry to resume services on the line, sent railway workers inside the tunnel without any safety helmets to set right the track and overhead wires. The loose boulders in the tunnel fell over one of the workers, Albert, who died on the spot. This is a live example of how the railways are giving priority to running trains without basic safety amenities," PR Menon, general secretary of the NRMU said.

"This could result in serious accidents leading to adverse implications in terms of passenger safety. Before things get out of hand, we have decided to highlight the issue and are planning to hold protest programme on December 27.

Further action programmes such as en-mass casual leave, hunger strike and mass protests have also may planned which may affect train operations," Menon added.

Refuting the allegations, senior railway authorities said, the Karjat incident was a one-off case and there were absolutely no issues on passenger safety.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 22:10 IST