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Metro under union fire for burnt documents

The controversy over the destruction of some Metro Railway documents by a section of officials has taken a legal turn with an employees’ union filing a writ petition in Calcutta High Court.

The MTP Railwaymen’s Union filed the petition accusing the Metro Rail management of various financial irregularities and even demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Subroto Mookherjee, counsel for the petitioner, said on Saturday that several “serious allegations” had been levelled against the rail authorities, sparked by the deliberate burning of some vital documents. He said the matter would be heard on September 8 by the division bench of Chief Justice A.K.Mathur and Justice A.K. Bannerjee.

The petitioners claimed that on June 7, a number of almirahs containing vital documents, including vigilance reports, were piled on a truck at Metro Rail Bhavan on Chowringhee. The vehicle then proceeded to Noapara car depot, near Dum Dum. The documents were destroyed, under ‘official’ instructions, the union alleged.

“The Metro Railway has its own fire brigade unit at Dum Dum, but the authorities did not bother to inform the unit,” the petitioners stated, adding that the payment vouchers of the contractors had also been burnt.

Metro Rail officials, however, brushed aside the allegations, labelling them an attempt by a section of employees to avoid disciplinary action against them for creating trouble in office and even assaulting deputy chief electrical engineer (project) Sandip Kumar.

Vinod Kumar, Metro Rail general manager, said: “Sandip Kumar had taken up a programme to clear the records section by destroying irrelevant documents. I do not think that my officers are so careless that they would burn important documents.” Deputy chief electrical engineer Engineer added: “Burning of old records is accepted practice and in accordance with the law.”

The MTP Railwaymen’s Union has also alleged that recently Metro Railway had to cough up Rs 4,66,405 in arbitration as some relevant documents were missing.

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