Rlys to recruit staff, station masters get relief

Faced by the ire of station masters who complained against the move to thrust reservation works at wayside stations to them, southern railways has “agreed” to deploy reservation clerks and also expedite the posting of additional station masters at all such stations under the Trivandrum division.

The division recently introduced the integrated unreserved ticketing system (IUTS) in 75 more stations, thereby extending reservation facilities to small stations so that commuters need not go to main centres to book their tickets in advance.

However, the system was put in place without providing additional staff and station masters were asked to shoulder the responsibility in addition to their regular jobs.

“The railways are planning to recruit reservation clerks. In order to supplement such stations with adequate manpower, we are allotting transfers to willing employees from other divisions to Kochi. We’ll also expedite the posting of 55 additional station masters,” said Khemraj Meena, public relations officer.
Soon after the issue of a circular, the All India Station Masters Associa-tion and the Dakshin Railway Employees Union launched protests.

“Passengers can avail of the facility from 8 am to 8 pm and the operation and issue of such tickets may be done when station masters manning the machines are free from their operational/commercial and administrative duties. More work may dilute railway safety by putting more stress on the staff dealing with train operations,” said N. Ramesh, divisional president, AISMA.

T. Vinu, zonal leader said the divisional railway manager had promised to expedite the posting of additional station masters to all stations before implementing the decision.

“This happened after we made it clear that we would not allow PRS locations in any station in the division to be commissioned without a commercial clerk or additional station master being deployed,” he said.

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