NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has eliminated nearly 72,000 Group-C and Group-D jobs over the past six years, including peons, waiters, sweepers, gardeners and primary school teachers. According to official documents, the 16 railway zones had proposed giving up 81,000 such posts for these categories from 2015-16 to 2020-21.
Officials said these posts are non-essential and of little importance given the shift in work culture and the introduction of technology. So far 56,888 such posts have been abandoned by the zone railways and the remaining 15,495 are to be abandoned. The data shows that Northern Railways has cut more than 9,000 jobs, while South Eastern Railway has cut 4,677 jobs. The Southern Railway lost 7,524 jobs and the Eastern Railway lost more than 5,700. Sources said an additional 9,000 to 10,000 such items could be phased out by the end of this current fiscal year, subject to approval by the Railway Board.
Officials said employees currently holding such posts are likely to be absorbed in the various departments.
The railways decide on the abandonment of positions after the employees have completed their cross-zonal work and study performance. The studies also indicate the estimated savings from the abandonment of such positions. Officials said the focus of such studies is cutting unproductive jobs. “We can focus on getting more technicians who can contribute to our growth and operations, rather than having a large number of support staff hauling letters and other documents,” an official said.
In recent years, the number of sanctioned positions at the railways has decreased due to outsourcing. The national transporter has embarked on this path to reduce its financial burdens, both in terms of salaries and pensions. Currently, the railways spend half of their total revenue on salaries and pensions – 37 paise from every rupee earned on workers’ salaries and 16 paise on pensions.
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