Mumbai: Over 700 station masters of Central Railway (CR) and Western Railway (WR) in Mumbai Division staged a protest here today demanding an immediate rollback of Railway Board’s proposal to appoint station managers from other departments of the national carrier. The station masters gathered at the Azad Maidan under the banner of All India Station Masters Association (AISMA) and raised objection against the decision of the Board to appoint station in-charge at the A1 and A category railway stations of CR and WR from other cadre.
They said the move is not acceptable to them and they would oppose it firmly. Railway stations under A1 category are those with an annual income of Rs 50 crore or above, while A category stations are those that earn annual revenue between Rs 6 crore and Rs 50 crore.
“This protest is to oppose a proposal moved in by the Railway Board to make the post of station manager as ex-cadre at all 870 stations of A and A1 category, overlooking the fact that if such a post is occupied by an officer who has never handled operations, it would jeopardise the safety in the train operations,” Dhananjay Chandratre, central working president of AISMA, said.
He said role of management at Railway Board, zones, and divisional level is different from that at station level. Assistant Divisional Secretary of AISMA, GP Yadav, said, “We have submitted our concerns to both the GMs – of CR and WR. We have also said if our demands are not met, we would go to any stretch to get this proposal cancelled.” “A station manager without requisite training and experience can never ensure smooth operation of the trains and doing so (appointing ex-cadre system) would jeopardise the entire train operations,” he added.