The Railway Press employees at Howrah Station, who are protesting against the closure of the centuries-old Press, are to meet the railway minister, Mr Piyush Goyal, on 2 August in Delhi.

A section of the railway staff working in the Railway Press near Howrah Station have been protesting against the closure of the Press that is said to have been operational for 164 years.

The decision to close the Press has come from the Centre, which has been taken in accordance with the policy to outsource the non-core activities like the Railway Press. The closure of the Press, according to the protesters, will adversely affect more than 500 employees. Around 150 railway employees also agitated yesterday by going for a sitin demonstration and eighthour hunger strike.

“The decision by the central government to shut down five Railway Presses in Howrah, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Secundrabad, will prove to be devastating,” claimed one of the members of the All India Railwaymen’s Federation.

“It has been learnt from reliable sources that in the name of digitalisation the authorities are planning to privatise the Railway Press. The initiative will result in breaching of security. Under the expertise of the railway employees, stringent security measures are followed which otherwise cannot be practiced by the corporate houses given the cost involved. It will also lead to malpractices and aggravate black marketing,” he claimed.