Wednesday, August 7, 2019

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT THE HINDU  VISAKHAPATNAM, JULY 30, 2019 

CITU leaders staging a dharna at Visakhapatnam railway station on Monday. 

It will benefit private investors only, say CITU leaders

The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a dharna at the city railway station here on Monday, demanding that the Centre withdraw its plan of to privatise the Indian Railways.

“The BJP government is trying to privatise railway assets and trains on the pretext of attracting foreign investments,” CITU city committee president RKSV Kumar and its secretary M. Jaggu Naidu alleged.

Addressing the protesters, the CITU leaders said Indian Railways which has been providing cheap travel facilities to the common man is the fourth largest organisation in the world.

“The Modi government which announced a new railway zone with its headquarters in Visakhapatnam just before the general elections deprived the north Andhra region of its due by deciding to merge the residual part of Waltair Division with Vijayawada Division. Now, it is planning to privatise railways stations, assets and even railway tracks,” Mr. Kumar said.

The passenger fares and freight rates are being increased, putting additional burden on the common passengers while the privatisation move would benefit the investors only. They said that the Indian Railways, even after providing concessions to passengers, is contributing to the government exchequer in a big way.
Profit margin

“During the 2018-19 financial year, it has earned a net profit of ₹2.2 lakh crore. The government must come clear behind the rationale of privatising the railway,” Mr. Jaggu Naidu said.

The CITU leaders further said that they would launch a widespread agitation by roping in the support of all trade unions, people’s organisations, progressive thinkers and public to oppose the privatisation policies of the government.

CITU leaders B. Jagan, M. Subba Rao, V. Krishna Rao, and D. Appala Raju participated in the protest.

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