Rlys told to fill up safety-related jobs

The High Level Safety Review Committee (HLSRC) headed by Anil Kakodkar has asked the Indian Railways to fill up safety jobs within six months.

The panel has recommended taking away the task of recruiting safety staff form the Railway Recruitment Board and introduction of an IT based recruitment system to speed up it. It recommended a rime limit of only 3 months in case of essential safety jobs. “The Committee strongly mandate that no vacancies are allowed to remain in respect of essential safety categories of supervisors and staff for more than 3 months,” says the panel report.

Besides this, an officer in the railway board should be given power to make recruitments in safety related jobs in a time bound manner. The panel that submitted its report last week has found over 1,26000 safety related jobs lying vacant.  It found severe shortage of manpower in safety categories such as supervisors and others.

Technician in various departments ASMs  (Assistant station Masters), Loco pilots etc in almost all interactions. “Shortage of staff is hampering the maintenance of assets affecting safety,” the report said.

The committee describes a scenario of helplessness as far as recruitments were concerned because these are done directly by the Railway Recruitment Board. Thus, it suggested that the task of recruiting supervisors and safety staff should be assigned to an officer in the Railway Board.

The committee also emphasised creation of additional posts for proper maintenance of safety.  This, it said, can be done by multi-disciplinary teams.

Favouring a small but effective workforce, the panel also recommended downsizing of railway staff in a big way.  For this it recommended works in “non-core and non safety areas” be outsourced.

“Some such areas are mechanised cleaning and hygiene related works in coaches, railway stations and other work places, linen management, building maintenance, security of non-core establishments such as offices etc. These should be outsourced as a policy to save cost and get expert service,” the panel report said.

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