Like in airports, baggage trolleys will roll in your luggage at City railway station. Porters, who will be operating them for a fee of Rs60, will be relieved of carrying loads of suitcases and cartons on their head and shoulders.
The South Western Railways (SWR) Bangalore division on Tuesday launched the first batch of 30 hand-braked luggage trolleys at the Bangalore City railway station.
While the officials looked at this as corporate social responsibility, the potters have a mixed reaction on this.
Speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration, SWR Bangalore divisional railway manager S Mani said in association with Faiveley Transport India Limited, a New Delhi-based company, 30 trolleys had been introduced on a trial basis.
Depending on their success, another 50 will be added after 15 to 30 days. The same will be introduced at other stations as well. The trolleys owned by porters will ease them from carrying the luggage on their heads through platforms. They will now place luggage on the trolley, the capacity of which is up to 200kg, and use the ramps, lifts and elevators to reach the platforms.
They will charge Rs50 when they are not using the foot-over bridge, and charge Rs60 when using it.
These are standard rates which all porters have to follow. If passengers find that they are being forced to pay extra, they can lodge a complaint with the DRM, general manager or station master and immediate action will be taken against such porters.
There are 334 registered porters at City railway station. While the railways claim that there are no unregistered porters working at stations, porters’ union claims that there are over 600 unlicensed porters who, by charging extra from passengers, tarnish the image of genuine porters.
Mohammed Saleem Khan, president of SWR Division Porters’ Union, said the number of trolleys was less.
Also there is no security to the trolleys as the passengers can take them on their own up to their respective compartment.
Also there are chances the passengers may pay less when they feel that trolleys have lessened the burden on porters and made their job easier.
“We are already facing a set back after the introduction of wheeled-suitcases. So we demand there be security to our source of income. The railway board should consider us as D-Category employees and pay us Rs13,000 to Rs14,000 as salary. We will not demand money from passengers for carrying their luggage, as this way, we will have a steady source of income. Also, we want the railways to ensure that the trolley is not used by passengers directly. It should be handled only by porters,” said Khan.
Porters complained that these trolleys were feasible only on platform 1.
To reach other platforms, they will have to climb the stairs, where trolleys will add to their burden. Krishna Kumar, a porter, said elevators and lifts did not work most of the time. So passengers and porters will have to climb the stairs in which case there is no use introducing trolleys.
“So we do not want the trolley system as this will affect our daily income. The railways should cancel them immediately,” Kumar said.