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Blog Entry# 3470529
Posted: May 31 (07:13)

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May 31 (07:13)   Centre set to bring Metro services under ESMA

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Entry# 3470529   News Entry# 338996         Tags   Past Edits
In a shot in the arm for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) management to legally tackle the impending June 4 strike, the Centre is almost set to bring all Metro Rail Services in India under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
BMRCL had initiated the move on April 21 by urging the Centre to do so following repeated threats by the Bangalore Metro Rail Employees Union to disrupt Namma Metro operations.The state government has already notified Metro Rail as essential services under the Karnataka ESMA Act 2013 as early as March 21, just a day before the union’s first call for strike. The union had repeatedly said that it was not enough to invoke the State ESMA as BMRCL was a
joint undertaking by both the State and Centre.
A communication from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to the Ministry of Home Affairs cites the letter sent by BMRCL requesting that Metro Rail Services be notified as essential services under Section (2) (1) (a) of ESMA 1981. .
The letter from Rachna Kumar, Undersecretary of the Urban Affairs Ministry, dated May 24 backs BMRCL’s move stating, “Metro Rail is a public good. Therefore, it is not desirable that its services are disrupted even for a single day due to any reasons such as strike by employees.”It has also requested the Home Ministry to send comments or suggest the way forward.
Metro Rail services not only provide safe, reliable, comfortable, rapid passengers services in the City but also reduce traffic congestion apart from air and sound pollution, the letter added. It said that Railways is already an Essential Service under ESMA and Metro could not be incorporated into the Act as it was not in existence when the Act was passed.
Responding to it, BMRCL Managing Director Mahendra Jain said, “We always maintained that Metro services qualify more than anything else to be brought under the purview of essential services. Mobility is key to city life and anything that inhibits this mobility has to be regulated.”

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