Over 40,000 safety jobs vacant in Railways

The vacancy of safety-related posts in lower ranks number over 40,000, and those of drivers, 13,000. A total of 1,70,000 posts have to be filled up in category ‘C’ and ‘D’ jobs lying vacant in various departments of the Ministry.

Shortage in manpower was one of the key points taken note of on Tuesday by a high-level meeting in the Railway Ministry that took stock of the safety and security situation. The meeting also decided to speed up recruitment.

The vacancies include posts of drivers, gangman, signalman and pointsman. The vacancy of drivers in the system is 18 per cent, with 63,000 of the 76,000 posts filled up.

This gap was because the Railway Minister scrapped the old recruitment system after taking charge. The new system put in place did not work because a big scam surfaced after its inception. The need for filling up vacancies grew to such an extend that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee recently gave the go-ahead for recruitment at lower levels without waiting for the implementation of a foolproof system. Yet the process is still to start.

Though vacancy statistics talk amply of the state-of-affairs,  Railway officials deny any shortage of security-related workers. According to them, leave alone shortage, there is a surplus of staff especially as drivers. Additional Director General of Public Relations, Anil Saxena, said Railways sanctioned 30 per cent additional posts of drivers against the actual requirement, keeping in view leave and other contingencies. He claimed Railways needed only 60,000 drivers but it had on rolls, 63,000 drivers. Other backlog for sanctioned posts would also be filled up soon, he said.

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