The All-India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) has come out against the decision to close down nine railway printing presses, including three ticket printing presses and six stationery printing presses. These include Thiruchirapplli ticket press which printed tickets for Southern Railway, including for stations in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad divisions. CITU national general secretary Tapan Sen MP who intervened in the issue has condemned the decision.
Mr Sen said in a statement said that these presses were supplying different stations with railway tickets and other stationery for daily use. The requirement of these printed items will continue which would facilitate the business of chosen private players, said Mr Sen. AILRSA zonal organising secretary P.N. Soman told Deccan Chronicle that the move was part of the agenda to privatise the railways. The printing work would be outsourced to private agencies, said Mr Soman. This was decided by the Railway Board in its communication recently. Group C and D staff will be redeployed and printing machines relocated to other locations, said Mr Soman.
“We had earlier voiced our protest against the decision to hand over the space in ten railway stations, including Ernakulam south, and also the land owned by railways in adjacent areas to the National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC) and Railway Land Development Authority (RLDA) for development. Such moves to privatise railway property should be opposed,” said Mr Soman. An MoU has already been signed between RLDA and NBCC for implementation of station development projects for 10 identified stations in partnership with the respective Smart Cities.