In the last six years in the Indian Railways, more than 72,000 posts of class III-IV have been surrendered. During this period, the Railway Board sent a proposal to abolish 81,000 more posts to all zonal railways.
That is, more than 1.5 lakh posts on railways will not be filled in the future. The government believes that these are non-essential posts, the need for these posts has ended in the railways running on the track of modernity.
It is a matter of fact that due to the reduction in manpower in class III-IV, there will be a possibility of its adverse effect on safe train operation.
According to Railway Board documents, 56,888 posts (non-essential in official language) have been abolished in all 16 zonal railways between the financial years 2015-16 to 2020-21.
The Railway Board has approved the abolition of 15,495 posts. Sources said that the Railway Board has sent a proposal to abolish 81,303 posts during the said period. Which is yet to be decided. The sources said that the work-study performance of employees-officers for the zonal railway financial year 2021-22 is in the final stage. After this, more posts will be abolished after getting the approval of the Railway Board. According to an estimate, their number can be from nine to ten thousand.
A senior Railway Board official said that the process of abolition of posts is being done based on the work-study performance of the officers-employees. Apart from this, after the introduction of new technology in the railways, many posts have become non-essential.
The number of sanctioned posts in Railways is also decreasing due to outsourcing. For example, electrical-mechanical technicians in generators of Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Mail-Express trains, assistants in coaches, onboard cleaning, etc. have been given on contract.
Many experts do not endorse this move. They argue that reducing skilled personnel will reduce the capacity of the railways. Due to this productivity will decrease. The contract method will always be a threat to safe train running. This could seriously jeopardize the lives of railway passengers.
Experts say that there are 15 lakh sanctioned posts in the Indian Railways, whose number was reduced to 12 lakh 75. In this, one and a half lakh posts are on the verge of extinction. About 4.5 lakh contract employees are being hired by abolishing the posts in the Railways.
,The large number of employees working in Indian Railways is its biggest problem. Railways have to spend one-third of their total income on salaries and pensions of railway workers. Railways are spending 37 paise out of one rupee earned on salaries of workers and 16 paise on pension.
Apart from this, 17 paise is spent on fuel items in train operation. And spending nine paise on necessities. Whereas the main earnings of the Railways are only 65 percent from freight. And in all passenger trains, Railways are subsidizing the fare from earnings. This is the reason why the operating ratio of railways is 110 percent. That is, to earn Rs 100, the railway is spending Rs 110!