28 September 2020 ~ 0 Comments

Revamp of railway services sure to trigger a turf war

The Narendra Modi government is pushing ahead with restructuring the Indian Railways board and services. The Cabinet recently green-lit the revamping of the powerful Railway Board that governs the railways. The board will now have five members instead of five. The present Chairman of the Board V.K. Yadav will be the first CEO of the Board. The board will also have independent members in non-executive roles. The Cabinet also decided to merge all central railway service cadres into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS)

While Yadav is now Chairman and CEO, Pradeep Kumar has been appointed Member, Infrastructure, PC Sharma has been appointed Member, Traction and Rolling Stock, PS Mishra has been made Member, Operations and Business Development. Manjula Rangarajan has been appointed Member, Finance. In the new structure, the Chairman shall be the cadre controlling officer responsible for Human Resources (HR) with assistance from a Director General level officer. Three apex level posts shall be surrendered from Railway Board, and all the remaining posts of the Railway Board shall be open to all officers regardless of the service to which they belonged.

The government says that the reform will end “inter-departmental rivalries” that many say have been hampering growth and efficiency of the railways for decades. But not all railway babus are pleased with the decision. Their first objection is to the proposed merger of cadres, which they claim is “unscientific and against established norms” since the government is proposing to merge “fundamentally dissimilar” entities. Instead, they argue for two distinct services instead of one – separating the civil services and the engineering wings.

According to sources, murmurs of protest are rising, and railway unions are planning a series of protests against the move.

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