Train controllers assn to protest on May 1 by wearing black badges

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Mumbai, Apr 10 (UNI) The All India Train Controllers Association will wear black badges on May 1st, as a mark of protest against the government.

They feel that the government has been neglecting this section of the railway staff for the last 60 years.

Speaking to mediapersons here today, All India Train Controllers Association General Secretary Anil Bharda said that their association has grievances against the 6th pay commission's recommendations and are protesting against the same.

The association is demanding that the chief controllers grade should not be merged with deputy chief controllers and the chief controllers should be considered as group B with all equal benefits of pay and promotion. The controllers are also demanding stress and mike allowances, as their job involves a lot of stress.

''We have been meted the same treatment for the last 60 years and there has been no improvement in our condition,'' Mr Bharda said, adding, ''Since we form a very small number and are not united, we have not been given justice by the unions representing the railway staff.'' ''We have to take care of all the things that take place on the trains route, that includes delay, accidents, crossing, chain pulling and also the timings,'' said Finance Secretary of the association Mr Chandan Chaturvedee said.

''We have a hot line service during our duty timings and are constantly on it giving out even the minutest details of the trains,'' Mr Chaturvedee added.

Mr Bharda stated that the staff is suffering from many health problems and if tests are conducted on them, the figure will be startling. More than 40 per cent of the staff is suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other aliments as they are under constant stress, Mr Bhadra said.

''The number of controllers in the railways has never been increased since its inception and we have to manage with the same number of controllers, inspite of the increase in the goods and passenger trains,'' Mr Bharda said.

The members of the association stated that they will wait till June for the government's decision, after which they will be forced to take drastic steps, which will include a token strike or mass casual leave which will disrupt the trains services.

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