CITU strongly denounces the invitation of Request For Qualification (RFQ) extended to the private corporates, Indian and foreign, for operating passenger train services over 109 pairs of stations. It condemns this anti national move of the Modi government to put Indian Railways, the pride of India and its precious wealth, on sale. It is appalling that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this anti national policy.

These 109 pairs of high speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters to run across the Indian Railway network, by the drivers and guards of Indian Railways. The other employees will be of the private operators. Private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers.

Already the BJP government has permitted 100% FDI in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. In the name of redevelopment of railway stations it has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates. The motive of the private players will be maximising profits, not providing cheap mode of transport to the people. Rather mass of the people availing railway transport will be subjected to heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares.

The government claims of Rs 30000 crore investment and employment generation has no meaning as the drainage due to loss of revenue to the Indian Railways in these revenue generating routes and high speed trains will more than neutralise the said hypothetical figure. The employment lost due to privatisation of our production units, the Jewels of Indian Railways, in the railway workshops, in maintenance units etc will be many times more than the employment created by the private players. Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security.

While condemning this fast tracking privatisation of Indian Railways, taking advantage of the lockdown, CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to take the initiative to build strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti people and anti national move of the BJP government.

The Coal Workers have already shown the way of such defiance and resistance to move for privatisation of the coal sector through the massive and total three days’ strike on 2-4 July 2020. The defence employees too have made their readiness to resist and defy privatisation of the defence sector, 99.9% expressing their support to go on strike in their strike ballot.  

CITU calls upon the entire trade union movement and the working class and people at large to join together to stiffly resist the move of privatising and selling off Indian Railways to benefit the profit hungry corporates, domestic and foreign.

(Tapan Sen )
General Secretary

Read 9630 times