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    IndiaDay after Kanchanjunga accident, Rail officials met unions, discuss filling safety vacancies...

    Day after Kanchanjunga accident, Rail officials met unions, discuss filling safety vacancies fast

    Date:

    New Delhi, Jun 21: A day after the June 17 accident of the Kanchanjunga Express train that left 10 dead, senior Railway Ministry officials held an emergency meeting with trade union office-bearers and discussed filling up vacancies of safety category staff expeditiously, a railway union said on Friday.

    The director general (human resources) and the senior officials of the Railway Board met representatives of two unions — All Railwaymen's Federation (AIRF) and Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NRIF) — and sought their cooperation in filling up these posts as soon as possible.

    “I am glad that the Railway Board showed extreme urgency in filling up the vacant posts and it is a very positive step for safe operations of trains,” said AIRF General Secretary Shiv Gopal Mishra, who attended the meeting.

    Out of around 10 lakh sanctioned posts under the safety category, more than 1.5 lakh are vacant, according to the Railway Board's response to an RTI query.

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

    Mishra said that after the meeting, vacancies were announced on the same day for 18,799 Assistant Loco Pilots (ALP) and the recruitment process initiated.

    Railway trade unions say that it is a critical category post in railways and filling them up was long overdue.

    “We also raised the issue that merely filling ALP posts will not be enough to ensure safe train operations. Vacancies in other categories such as train controllers, track maintainers, station masters, pointsmen, electric signal maintainers and signalling supervisors are also equally important. The Board has agreed to look into it and expedite the filling up process,” Mishra said.

    “I believe that each and every post of safety category is equally important and crucial for safe train operations. If we don't have track maintainers, we cannot ensure proper upkeep of our tracks which can lead to accidents. So, only having adequate ALPs and LPs (Loco Pilots) will not serve the purpose,” he added.

    Expressing satisfaction over the Railway Board “aggressively” identifying crucial posts and filling them up, he said, “I hope that the Board continues this prompt attitude till all posts are properly filled up. The Board shouldn't wait for accidents to expedite its recruitment process.”

    On Monday, Kanchanjunga Express was hit by a goods train near New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal, leaving 10 people dead and several injured.

     

    Northlines
    Northlines
    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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