The Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) is on the warpath following the decision to cut down the number of station master posts in Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division. According to the union, there is provision for appointing 400 station masters (SM)under the division and now 10 per cent of it has been reduced, taking away 40 posts. “The new decision came at a time when we had already requested the Railway Recruitment Board to fill the 72 vacancies in the division,” said an SRMU office-bearer.
They say that the cut in vacancies would put additional burden on existing station masters and would adversely affect the safety of rail traffic. “Now itself, the current station masters cannot take a leave on emergency as there is no one available to take up the duty for the day. The same is the case with the weekly off-day too,” he said.
Meanwhile, responding to the decision, a top official of the Southern Railway said that the decision to cut down the number of posts was taken by the Southern Railway headquarters based on a report it made. He said that the decision was taken “as per requirements” and there was a surplus of station master posts under the division.