No more painted ads, flex boards in railway property: Madras high court

Bench said no indulgence or leniency should be shown to the Workers\' Union in the matter of allotment of shops on railway premises.

Chennai: Making it clear that no wall painting or flex board shall be permitted within the railway properties, the Madras high court has directed railway officials to whitewash the defaced wall with the police protection.

A division bench comprising Justices N. Kirubakaran and S.S. Sundar directed the Director General of Police of the Railway (GRP) and the Inspector General and Chief Security Commissioner, RPF, Southern Railway, to give police protection for whitewashing the defaced walls of the Railway properties and remove the hoardings and flux boards placed unauthorisedly.

The bench posted to April 24, further hearing of a PIL filed by T. Prabhakar, which sought a direction to the authorities to forbear any individual or association from erecting flex boards, cut outs, on railway premises without permission and consequently direct the authorities to remove the already erected flex boards and to maintain the railway premises neat and clean.

Bench said no indulgence or leniency should be shown to the Workers' Union in the matter of allotment of shops on railway premises. Except the places allotted for the union people to display their notices, no other place, which was not permitted, can be used by any union or private persons, the bench added.

The bench said it was brought to the notice of this court that if any of the officers was trying to be strict in enforcing discipline, he was being targeted by false complaints and he would be victimized and because of fear, no officer wants to enforce discipline.

Even more than 5% of the staff, nearly 4,500, were unauthorizedly taking leave everyday. In all, 4,500 employees taking unauthorized leave was of great concern as public service was involved. Therefore, the officials were directed to see that nobody was availing leave unauthorizedly taking advantage as member of the union or any other organisation, the bench added.

The bench said it was further brought to the notice of the court that the "Rail Neer"- the drinking water being supplied by the railways was substandard and several complaints from public were noticed.

This court experienced the difficulty of feeling unsafe with the drinking water and food supplied by the railways.

At present, the petitioner has not given relevant particulars about the manner in which the Southern Railway was getting drinking water and the names of the contractors.

The Southern Railway was directed to give particulars about the contractors, who were supplying food and drinking water and the manner, in which, the licence was being given to the private parties to sell food items to the passengers inside the trains and users of the railway stations, the bench added.

The bench said P.K.Misra, additional general manager, Southern Railway, who was present in the court, submitted that biometric attendance system was to be introduced in the Southern Railway before the end of September 2019. CCTV cameras would be installed in important strategic points covering parcel, reservation, and good sheds, apart from railway station. In this regard an affidavit has to be filed in the next hearing. With regard to the medical emergency, the AGM submitted that pursuant to the directions issued by the principal seat of this court in a PIL, emergency clinic has been opened at Chennai Central Railway Station and it was being functional and it was being operated by Apollo Hospitals and SRM hospital and traveling public were benefited and one Ambulance was being kept there round the clock.

Apart from Chennai Central, in 19 other railway stations, this facility has been introduced and Madurai was one among them and Vadamalaiyan Hospital was doing the same, the bench added.

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