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Railways to hire over 18,000 assistant loco pilots to boost safety

On June 18, it notified 5,696 vacancies; however, it has now decided to hire 18,799 assistant loco pilots.
Last Updated : 19 June 2024, 21:32 IST

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New Delhi: As part of its effort to bolster safety, the Indian Railways has announced that it would recruit 18,799 assistant loco pilots over the next six to eight months.

On June 18, it notified 5,696 vacancies; however, it has now decided to hire 18,799 assistant loco pilots.

In a circular, the Railway Board asked zonal railways to process the decision immediately. Filling up the vacancies is expected to take at least six months as posts have to be notified and candidates need to pass written, aptitude and medical tests, said a railway official.

The recruitment of assistant loco pilots will help to meet the skilled manpower requirement, added the official.

Despite the government's insistence that it is giving the highest priority to safety of train operations, out of around 10 lakh sanctioned posts under the safety category, more than 1.5 lakh were vacant as of March this year.

Safety category posts include train drivers, inspectors, crew controllers, loco instructors, train controllers, track maintainers, station masters, pointsmen, electric signal maintainers and signalling supervisors, among others.

As per the Railway Ministry's response to an application under the Right to Information Act, "The total number of sanctioned, on roll (working) and vacant posts in safety category of Indian Railways, as available in this office, as on 01.03.2024 (provisional) are 10,00,941, 8,48,207 and 1,52,734 respectively."

About vacant posts of loco pilots (mail/express/passenger/goods/shunting), the Railway Ministry said out of a total sanctioned post of 70,093, as many as 14,429 are vacant.

However, a senior railway official said investment in safety-related projects in the 2014-24 period was Rs 1,78,000 crore which was 2.5 times the corresponding investment of Rs 70,273 crore in the 2004-14 period.

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Published 19 June 2024, 21:32 IST

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