The Sri Lanka Railway Station Masters’ Association has opposed the decision reached by Sri Lanka Railways to increase the service charge by 50 percent if passengers cancel pre-booked tickets.
The Association said it is unacceptable to further charge passengers while failing to provide necessary facilities adequately.
Speaking during a media briefing today, President of the Association Sumedha Somaratne said Sri Lanka Railways is capable of minimizing existing losses without imposing additional charges.
Somaratne said they vehemently oppose further burdening the public while failing to return train services to normalcy.
He said railway officials requested Minister of Finance Basil Rajapaksa for an increase in railway fares adding however the Minister did not agree.
He said there was no need for an increase in fares as they had already provided details on how the Railways Department can obtain other funds that are due.
He said they will take necessary steps as a trade union if Sri Lanka Railways fails to address the situation.
Commenting on the present condition of the train engines imported from India at a cost of Rs.7.6 billion, Somaratne said operating the locomotives pose a great risk to the railway line due to its weight.
He said they requested the Ministry of Transport for an opportunity to view the manufacturing process at the factory online or to meet with the manufacturer’s local representative.
He said there are Chinese train compartments imported decades ago which have not been used thus far adding changing old compartments for new ones take a disproportionate amount of time.
He said the discrepancies need to be corrected.
He noted the Indian train engines either need to be imported again or the manufacturer must be asked to adjust the specs to suit local railways