NEW DELHI: The All India Station Masters’ Association has given the ultimatum of June 30 to the government to vaccinate them and other front line railway employees involved in train operation. In a letter to the Union health secretary, it has said if the government fails to do so, then non-vaccinated staff would have no option than abstaining from duty.
“In the event of any misfortune to the Indian Railways moving the essential commodities, your letter will have strong evidence for the non-vaccinated employees abstaining from duty to save their precious lives,” the association has written to Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
The association wrote the letter after the health secretary sent a communication to states on Saturday flagging that state government departments were approving “banking, railways and transport” department employees as frontline workers (FLWs) and they weren't adhering to the Central guidelines. It has urged the health secretary to amend the letter to states and to include station masters and the frontline railway employees involved in train operation in the list of FLWs.
The health secretary had informed the state governments that they may make provision for other categories as FLWs “from the vaccine directly procured by the state governments”, which means the states can’t give the vaccines allocated by Centre to any such additional category.
The association has said station master and the frontline railway employees working in Indian Railways are involved in train operation, and needs to be included immediately in the list of FLWs for facilitating vaccination.
The association has said more than 2,000 frontline railway employees and more than 140 station masters have died due to Covid in the second wave, because of their active participation in train working. It had written to the Union health minister for war footing arrangements to vaccinate them and other frontline workers.