A group of station masters staged a demonstration in Tiruchi on Tuesday demanding that Hostel No. 4 on the Zonal Railway Training Institute (ZRTI) campus be exclusively allotted to station masters attending periodic refresher courses and safety camps at the institute.

Station masters serving in various railway divisions falling within the Southern Railway zone took part in the demonstration that was headed by the All India Station Masters Association (AISMA), Tiruchi divisional president R.K. Dharani. The hour-long demonstration was held near the Khadi Craft junction. They also demanded that there should be no discrimination on the basis of Grade Pay of the Station Masters while allotting Hostel No. 4. An AISMA office-bearer said station masters of the Southern Railway zone attending refresher courses and safety camps periodically at the ZRTI were provided accommodation in Hostel No. 4 until last year. Over the past few months, the hostel was being allotted to other railway category staff attending refresher courses at the same institute, he claimed.

Station masters with Rs.4,200 as their grade pay and attending refresher courses and safety camps were being accommodated in Hostel No. 3 instead of Hostel No. 4 which had attached bathroom and toilet facilities in every room. Compared to Hostel No. 4, the facilities in Hostel No. 3 were less, the office-bearer further claimed.

They also urged the railway authorities not to permit cleaning of ZRTI campus and hostels by private contractors. Refresher courses are conducted periodically at the ZRTI for Loco Pilots, Assistant Loco Pilots, Guards and Station Masters serving in the Southern Railway zone.