Train services on both suburban and long-distance routes in Mumbai are expected to be hampered on January 26 due to the call given by motormen and drivers, who plan to avail their leave on Republic Day. The motormen of suburban trains and drivers of long distance trains would be doing so to highlight their long pending demands related to payment and working conditions.
A disruption in the suburban train services of the Central and Western Railway, considered the lifeline of the city, may bring the commercial capital of the nation to a standstill. However, the number of affected commuters will be comparatively lesser as most educational institutions and offices are shut on Republic Day.
Services on long-distance routes are also expected to be affected as the drivers of mail/express trains are also joining the motormen in taking leave.
The motormen are distressed by their peculiar pay structure. According to the motormen's association, the salary drawn for working the entire month is less than the salary the motormen would get if he or she goes on leave for the same period.
The motormen are also seeking an assistant for suburban routes. "There is an assistant for engine drivers of mail/express trains while the motormen of suburban train, who have to deal with more stressful conditions, carry out their responsibilities all alone. An assistant to the motorman will be in the interest of the passengers' safety," said Devendra Yadav, chief convener of the Motormen's Association.