Monday, September 11, 2017

Siddharth Prabhakar| TNN | Sep 11, 2017

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CHENNAI: A senior railway official heading a signal and telecom workshop in Coimbatore has been camping inside his office for more than 100 hours, protesting the non-removal of illegal banners erected by the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union(SRMU) in front of the railway workshop.

This incident comes immediately after the railways conducted an intensive two-week drive titled 'Swachhata Pakhwada' to clean up railway properties as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

In a letter with subject heading 'Extreme Frustration' to Vashishta Johri, the SR general manager, on Saturday , the officer, R Baskaran, chief workshop manager (CWM) in Pothanur, said he has decided to hold a hunger strike till the banners are removed and action is taken against an SRMU office-bearer M Govindan. Six other banners of other associations were removed, but the SRMU banner could not be removed as officers were being obstructed by Govindan, a travelling ticket examiner, Baskaran wrote in a letter on September 6.

Baskaran has switched off his mobile phone, but is still in his office, officials who went to meet him told TOI. Johri could not be reached, but his office said that he has spoken to Baskaran and is coordinating with the DRM of Salem division to sort out this issue soon. The banners were 'tarnishing the image of Railways and senior officials of the workshop', Baskaran said in the letter. The banners were being removed as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to make the whole area in and around the workshop neat and clean.

He also stated that Govindan entered the workshop illegally to conduct protests. "No action has been taken despite clear intelligence reports and references made by CWM," Baskaran said in the letter. Due to stiff opposition from SRMU, the workshop was not able to even partially implement the biometricattendancesysteminthe administrative offices of the workshop, despite instructions from the Railway Board and SR, he added.

Govindan told TOI that he was assistant general secretary of SRMU which had the right to erect the banner. "We held a meeting with the DRM and additional general manager (AGM) who permitted the banners a few days ago," he said.


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