Sunday, November 23, 2008

Karnataka - Bangalore

Shifting of crew booking depot to SGT opposed

Staff Reporter

— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

Unanimous opposition: Members of South Western Railway Mazdoor Union and their family members demonstrating in front of the Divisional Railway Manager’s office in Bangalore on Friday.

BANGALORE: Members of various Railway trade unions along with their families staged a dharna in front of the Divisional Railway Manager’s Office of South Western Railway here on Friday protesting the administration’s decision to shift the crew booking depot to the Satellite Goods Terminal (SGT), Whitefield.

The unions said they had earlier agreed to the administration’s proposal to shift the existing depot from Byappanahalli as the Goods Yard was being closed. It was agreed to relocate the depot at Krishnarajapuram, which was well connected by road and rail, the unions said. However, the Chief Operations Manager, SWR, Hubli, took a unilateral decision to shift the depot to SGT, the areas surrounding which were highly polluted due to frequent loading and unloading activities, the unions alleged.

The main objections against the proposal were: SGT is far away from the locations where the staff were residing; the terminal was a loading and unloading centre for cement, fertilizers and other commodities and hence the area was highly polluted; there was no proper connectivity either by rail or by road even during daytime to SGT; basic amenities are not available at SGT and there were not enough residential quarters if the staff intended to stay near SGT.

On the other hand, Krishnarajapuram would have been convenient for the crew in many respects, the unions said.

K.V. Raghavendra, divisional secretary, South Western Railway Mazdoor Union; K.N. Rao, vice-president, Nairuthya Railway Employees’ Sangh; C. Sunish, general secretary, All-India Loco Running Staff Association and other leaders addressed the members.

The members took a unanimous decision to reject the proposal to shift the crew booking depot to SGT and said any further move by the administration in this regard would result in disruption of train services.

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