Employees of closed Ticket Printing Press await redeployment even after 2 years

Mysore (MYS):  It was close to a year ago, the century-old Railway Ticket Printing Factory (TPF) on the premises of the office of Divisional Railway Manager, South Western Railway, in the city, shut shop. Still, redeployment of its 10-member staff has remained a mirage.

The Railway Ticket Printing press, that dates back to the princely rule, was printing short distance tickets (desmond card tickets) in Kannada. The Railway Board, in New Delhi, decided to do away with such presses in the country. It gradually closed the facility at some places, besides diverting the existing job to nearby states. The task of Mysore press (closed on February 28, 2013) was transferred to Trichy from the month of April, the same year.

The factory comprised of a 10-member staff, including a manager (in the cadre of junior engineer) and nine technicians. The four machines, procured from Waterlow and Sons, London, were also of heritage value. At the time of closure, there were three machines.Taking cognisance of employee welfare, the board had asked the authorities concerned to form a committee to dispose the machinery and fill up the vacancies through redeployment, for permanent.

As a stopgap arrangement, the staff was sent to the stores, adjacent to the workshop, at Ashokapuram on Manandavadi road, where they are deployed until today. While the junior engineer at the press was given a post of divisional materials superintendent, there is a change in duties everyday within the stores for the technicians. Some among them also await promotions.

Recently, the divisional materials superintendent received a letter, wherein the authorities at SWR Mysore have written to their higher ups in Hubli, seeking permission to give the due promotion (pending since 2005) to him against an existing vacancy.

Sources told that the main bottleneck here is the internal animosity among the departments, who on one or two occasions, rejected the applications seeking redeployment. The irony here is, at the fag end of the factory, a digital copier machine worth about Rs.9 lakh was brought with the sole intention of starting a full-fledged press at the factory ceased earlier, to print books and forms of the department.

Though there were plans to include the printing machines at the railway museum in the city, as part of added attraction, it still remains on paper. A senior officer at the stores told this paper, “I am yet to be acquainted of the facts for being new to the post”.