New Delhi : The Indian Railways was not filling up the vacancies created from the retirements for years as a policy to reduce the workforce and this has adversely affected maintenance and repairs of the rail tracks resulting in many derailments.

This realisation dawned upon Railway Minister Piyush Goyal in a review of the recent train mishaps as he instantly ordered to immediately contact all retired gangmen, track men, key men, line men and others and offer them jobs on contract to engage them in repairs of the rail lines, maintenance and supervision of the tracks.

He said even those not able to carry out the repairs should also be engaged as they can certainly supervise the repairs of the tracks because of the experience they had gained over the years.

About 60% of the 13 lakh retired hands in the Railways are these low-paid workers working on the tracks and providing a variety of  services to ensure safety in the running of the trains.

Goyal also ordered transfer of these workers in the field from the engineering department to the train operation department to end the constant complaint by the engineering department that it is not able to carry out the repairs until the operation department stops trains on the route and gives the block for the repairs. Now the operation department responsible for running the trains will be able to timely release the blocks for the track repairs and maintenance.

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Free Press Journal