Privatisation of Railway: Nation-Wide Protest May Make Things Murkier
The Railway Ministry in its 100-day plan has reportedly proposed that it will offer two trains to IRCTC, to operate on haulage concept, with ticketing, onboard services to be provided by them. However, the proposal has not gone well with the employees of the Indian Railways as it resulted in several assumptions.
Alleging a move was on to privatise the Chennai-Madurai Tejas Express, a railway employees union last week threatened a nation-wide strike if the Centre went ahead with the ‘proposal’ to handover operation of profitable trains.
According to a PTI report, the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) General Secretary Kannaiah also claimed there was a proposal to handover the Chennai-Coimbatore Cheran Express to private players.
He referred to reports about Railways identifying the New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express for privatisation and claimed there was also a proposal to handover Chennai-Madurai Tejas Express to private players.
“If the Government goes ahead with its plans to privatise the running of the profit making trains, a nation-wide protest will be held,” PTI quoted him as saying.
However, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has already (on July 10) informed the Lok Sabha there the government has no proposal to privatise the railways and no specific passenger train had been identified to be run by private players so far.
“At a time when the Railway Minister has himself clarified that the Centre has no such privatisaion plan, the reports of such a move by the government are popping up only to create an ambiguous environment,” said a retired railway employee.
Instead of threatening the government of nation-wide strike, employees unions should get things clear from the department/ministry as unnecessary confusion will only make things murkier, he added.