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The Railway Board on Monday issued orders that "stringent steps" be taken to ensure smooth operations of trains amidst calls of direct action by workers unions over delayed payment of bonuses.

The workers unions have threatened the national transporter with “direct action" if their productivity-linked bonus, usually paid before the onset of Durga Puja, is not released by October 20.

All India Railwaymen’s Federation (AIRF) had on Friday threatened to launch “direct action" on October 22.

“There should not be any room for complacency on the part of the railway administration and all necessary stringent steps must be taken to ensure discipline and smooth functioning of rail movement," the Railway Board said in a missive to all general managers.

“Their particular attention should be drawn to relevant penal provisions — Section 173, 174, and 175 of the Railways Act, 1989 -- which are attracted in case of abandoning train without authority, obstructing running of train and endangering safety of persons by disobeying rule," it said.

The letter also said if any railway servant participates in rallies and demonstrations, a report about them should be submitted to the Board.

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