Written by Bella Dalima
22 May, 2014 | 10:41 pm
Discussions between railway trade unions and the Minister of Transport concluded successfully on Thursday. Attention had been focussed on Thursday on the shortcomings in the train services as well as emergency transfers within the department .
Members of the the Railway Services Joint Union and the United Front of Railway Trade Unions met with Minister of Transport Kumara Welgama and engaged in discussions.
During the three and a half hour meeting at the Ministry of Transport, attention was focussed on the transfers of two high-ranking officials within the department.
The discussions focussed on the transfer of the Chief Engineer of Motive Power W.G.T.L. Wickramatatne to the position of Chief Mechanical Engineer of Ratmalana and the transfer of Deputy Operating Superintendent Gamini Seneviratne to the position of Deputy Commercial Superintendent.
The positions held by these two individuals were taken by Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer Dilantha Fernando and Deputy Commercial Superintendent V.S. Polewattege.
However, a high-ranking officer of the Railway Department noted that the letters of transfer had not been received by the two officers in question.
Meanwhile, Colombo -Rambukkana, Waga – Colombo and Aluthgama-Colombo train services that were due to operate on Thursday morning were cancelled.
The engine driver of the office train that runs along the Kelaniweli route from Padukka to Colombo requested for additional security, fearing an assault from the commuters. The railways control room noted that they dispatched security forces to the Maradana Railway Station in line with this request.
According to the Railway Control Room, twelve office train suffered delays on Thursday morning. The office train from Polgahawela – Morattuwa was delayed by one hour.
The officer in charge of railway engine operators noted that although there was a shortage of engine drivers, the Railways Department was able to operate all office trains as usual.
The two suspects who were arrested in connection to the assault on the engine driver of the office train from Mahawa to Colombo were released on bail after being produced before the Maligakanda Magistrate. Nalaka Dissanayake who was a victim of the assault was receiving in-house treatment at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.
He noted that he did not assault the engine driver but that a group of commuters assaulted him.
Deputy Director of the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Dr. Chandana Kondegamuwa noted that his situation is not critical and added that he was discharged on Thursday evening.
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