No.AIRF/PNM/35/2018(107)                                                                                                        Dated: June 2, 2023

The Chairman & CEO,

Railway Board,

New Delhi

Dear Sir,

Sub: Closure of the Railway Printing Presses – Review of decision – Reg.

Ref.: (i) AIRF’s PNM Item No.35/2018

        (ii) Railway Board’s letters No.2017/RS/Ptg.&Sty./AP/PP/IR dated 27.01.2022 and 03.05.2023

       (iii) AIRF’s earlier letters of even number dated March 25, 2023 and 8th May, 2023 and   

             No.AIRF/88 dated May 19, 2023

Kindly call for AIRF’s correspondence, referred to above, on the captioned subject, resting with Railway Board.  

In continuation of what AIRF has already explained vide its correspondence quoted above, present status of 05 Railway Printing Presses is being appended below for consideration of the Railway Board:-

1.                   Printing Press, Royapuram, Chennai(Southern Railway)

(i)                   Activities being undertaken

The said Printing Press is handling a total of 34 activities(right from printing of PRS Tickets to all Multi-Colour Cover Pages etc.), thus catering to the requirements of Southern Railway, ICF/Chennai, RWF/YNK, SWR, WCR and ECoR.

(ii)                 Investment done in the recent past for modernisation

Over Rs.20 crore invested and 19 different types of Printing Machines, including one Multi-Colour Rotary Web Offset Printing Machine(Rotatek), were imported from Spain, for which 11 employees were sent to Spain for training to operate the said machine.               

(iii)                Effective cost of printing

0.15 paisa per UTS Ticket and 0.31 paisa per PRS Ticket (in case of printing by the Private Agencies; Government of India incurs a substantial amount for advertisement of the Government Policies on PRS Ticket).

(iv)               Number of employees and their profile

Currently there are 45 employees in total, out of which 03 are going to retire by December 2023, 06 employees are going to retire by December 2024 and 06 employees will retire by the year 2025 and the remaining 30 employees will be in service till 2028 to 2046, and with these employees Printing Press, Royapuram/Chennai(SR) can effectively cater the needs of 06 Zonal Railways for the next one decade.  

2.                   Printing Press, Byculla, Mumbai(Central  Railway)

(i)                   Activities being undertaken

Printing of PRS/UTS and YTSK Tickets, Money Value Books and Forms, Safety and General Books and Forms for Central and Western Railways. Apart from this; Other NS important MV and General Items. 

Stock Status – PRS Ticket stock available for the next 07 months requirement. UTS Ticket stock available for the next 3-6 months. Money Value Tickets and Forms stock available for the next 06 months requirements.    

(ii)                 Investment done in the recent past for modernization

This Printing Press was also modernized by procuring latest Printing Machines etc. during the recent past.

(iii)                Effective cost of printing

It is comparable to printing from the Private Agencies.

(iv)               Number of employees and their profile

Sanctioned Strength = 194; Staff on Role – 161, Vacancies – 33.

Retirement in the next 03 years 161(in 2023 – 32, in 2024 -18, in 2025 – 111).

3.                   Printing Press, Secunderabad(South Central Railway)

(i)                   Activities being undertaken

This Printing Press has produced a massive 2,30,00,000 PRS Tickets to cater the need of different Railway Zones, out of which 33,40,000 PRS and YTSK Tickets to SER to meet the exigencies as also 13,00,000 Tickets to SECR. Apart from this, 20,00,000 PRS Tickets to WCR to tide over the crisis after the trade failed to supply. The said Press also supplied 1,60,00,000 UTS Tickets to SER. This Press has been supplying Rail Museum Tickets to Mysore Division of SWR for the last 04 years, numbering around 40,000 Multi-Colour and serially numbered(in triplicate). This Press as well printed 31,000 Books of Working Timetables for SCR and 20,000 Working Timetable Books for SWR after the trade failed to supply for consecutive second time. The said Press has produced almost 16 crore of A4 impression, achieved the availability of almost 450 Stock and Money Value Forms and Books. 

(ii)                 Investment done in the recent past for modernisation

In the year 2016; Advanced Web-Offset Printing Machine was installed for in-house printing of the PRS and UTS Tickets. Further, this Printing Press is having one Web Offset Printing Machine of 86 cms Reel With Retro Fit Quarter Fold, i.e. 16 pages of A4 size can be printed and folded in one impression, which makes book publishing, like WTT, Gazettes, Circulars etc., very easy. This Press also has one 61 cms Reel Width Size Web Offset Printing Machine as well as 03 more Web Offset Printing Machines with sheeter facility.

(iii)                Effective cost of printing

Printing materials of the said Press are cheaper than the market rates.

(iv)               Number of employees and their profile

The present staff strength of this Printing Press is 160 Technical Staff deployed at different stages of printing and post-printing activities.

4.                   Printing Press, Howrah(Eastern Railway)

(i)                   Activities being undertaken

Apart from requirements of the entire ER, 50 lakh PRS Tickets for ECR, UTS Tickets around 03 crore for NFR, PRS Tickets 50,50,000 for Metro Rail, Kolkata, were printed in the exigency due to failure of the private agency. Apart from this, 60,000 Retiring Room Tickets for ECR, Money Value Items of ECR, NFR, SER were also printed during this year.  

(ii)                 Investment done in the recent past for modernization

Sophisticated Rotatek Machines(worth Rs.17 crore), along with other supportive machines, were installed in the said Printing Press to ensure modernization of the Press during the recent past, for which 06 staff, including 01 Officer, were sent for Technical Training to Barcelona(Spain).  

(iii)                Effective cost of printing

Owing to printing works, undertaken for other Railway Zones as well as successive retirement of the staff of the said Printing Press, printing cost is quite comparable to the market rates.

(iv)               Number of employees and their profile

The sanctioned strength of the said Printing Press is 199; On Roll Staff – 187, Vacancies – 12.  

Year-wise retirement of the staff – 2023 – 20, 2024 – 24, 2025 – 27.

5.                   Printing Press, Shakurbasti, Delhi(Northern Railway)

(i)                   Activities being undertaken

Rotatek Ticket Printing Machine, imported from Spain, was also installed in the said Printing Press, which has been catering to the needs of printing PRS and UTS Tickets for NR, NER, NCR, and to some extent NWR.

(ii)                 Investment done in the recent past for modernization

Modernisation of this Printing Press was done at the cost of more than Rs.20 crore during the recent past, including installation of the Modern Printing Machines, including Rotatek Ticket Printing Machine imported from Spain, and upgradation of the infrastructure. 

(iii)                Effective cost of printing

Printing cost in the said Press had also been comparable to the market rates if proper materials could be supplied timely to this Printing Press, that too of the standard quality. 

(iv)               Number of employees and their profile

Sanctioned strength in the said Printing Press is 208 – On Roll Staff – 137, Vacancies – 71.

Most of the On Roll Staff is likely to superannuate within the next 2-3 years.

In view of the current status of the aforementioned 05 Railway Printing Presses, there seems to be ample justification to continue their operation for the next at least 5-6 years, because total digitization in the Indian Railways may take even longer time. 

     Yours faithfully,

(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

   General Secretary

√Copy to: Member(Traction & Rolling Stock), Railway Board – For necessary action please.

√Copy to: D.G.(H.R.), Railway Board – For necessary action please.

√Copy to: A.M.(R.S.), Railway Board – For necessary action please.

√Copy to: P.E.D.(I.R.), Railway Board – For necessary action please.√Copy to: GSs, SRMU/MAS, NRMU(CR), SCRMU/SC, ERMU/Kolkata and NRMU(NR) – For information.