PANDU, March 26 � More than two lakh posts are lying vacant in different categories, out of which 1.5 lakh are of safety categories, like Loco Pilot (Train Driver), Assistant Loco Pilot (Assistant Train Driver), Assistant Section Master, Pointsman, Trackman, Gateman, Artisans in different workshops, sheds and open line establishment, etc.
Besides, a number of additional trains have been introduced without sanctioning any additional posts for the purpose, resulting in the staff being overburdened. They are to perform longer duty hours. Periodical rest and earned leave are refused, causing safety hazard for the travelling public and for the staff themselves. The permanent nature of jobs are being outsourced, violating the provisions of the contract labour (Regulation & Abolition) Act, 1970. The workmen employed by the contractors do not have the required skilled for maintenance of track, locomotives, passenger carriages etc. These set of workers are also exploited a lot by the contractors as they are denied even minimum wage and all other benefits.
The Anomaly Committee formed at the Railway Board level has agreed to grant Rs 4800 grade pay in all the categories of railwaymen. It was also decided to upgrade certain percentage of posts from non-gazetted to gazetted cadre and also to upgrade highly skilled Gr II to Gr I. Since these required approval of the Finance Ministry, the same has been sent by the Railway Ministry to the Finance Ministry. But the latter is yet to take any decision in the matter. The Cadre Restructuring Committee has been set up at the Railway Board level for widening the scope of promotion. But the Cadre Restructuring Committee has been kept in suspended animation. The problems of running staff, trackman, gateman, keyman, mate, artisan staff are yet to be resolved. As the discussion at various level could not yield any result.
The payment of travelling allowance, night duty allowance, overtime allowance are not being paid and repair of quarters, colony roads, medical treatment in referral hospitals etc. on the plea of fund crunch. Moreover, the new pension scheme has been introduced in the face of opposition by NF Railway Mazdoor Union and AIRF. Further, the report of trackman committee recommending upgradation of certain percentage of posts in Grade pay Rs 1900, 2400 & 2800 and other benefits is yet to be implemented.