Railway Staff on Southern Railway stage protests on various issues

Plan to make Railway Hospital into Health Unit condemned at Podanur

Coimbatore / Kannur: About 250 railway employees attached to the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) staged a demonstration in front of the Railway Hospital at Podanur on Tuesday, condemning railways for their proposed plan to make that hospital into a health unit.

Railway employees staging a protest at the railway hospital at Podanur in Coimbatore on Tuesday
Railway employees staging a protest at the railway hospital at Podanur in Coimbatore on Tuesday

The protesters said that in a recent visit to the hospital, a senior railway hospital authority had reportedly suggested that a health unit would be sufficient to meet the requirements here.

They said that facilities, doctors and availability of staff in the hospital would be reduced if it was made a health unit.

Employees said that there were more than 5,000 families of railway employees and retired railway employees residing in Podanur and nearby areas and that the hospital was catering to all their medical needs.

They said that on degrading it, their families would have to get treated in nearby private hospitals or travel far to reach the nearest railway hospital.

SRMU’s Salem Division and district level representatives also participated in the protest.

Railway staff in Kannur to stage protest today

Likewise, the Kannur branch of the All India Station Masters’ Association (AISMA) has urged the authorities to end the delay in providing apron facilities at the Kannur railway station to ensure cleanliness at the railway premises. Railway staff were being exposed to unhygienic conditions at the railway premises, the association said.

A press release issued by the AISMA branch secretary here said that the association would observe September 16 as protest day. Railway staff members here would wear badges as part of the protest on Wednesday.

The press release said that though the issue of health hazards caused by filth on railway yards at the station was brought to the notice of the Railway authorities concerned, no steps were taken to implement the demand for providing the apron with good drainage that would allow an effective cleaning of the yards.

The association highlighted the plight of shunting staff working with their feet and hands drenched in rain water mixed with filth on the yards. The plight of train examination and coach cleaning staff exposed to unhygienic conditions at the station and to diseases is not different, the release added.