Major Changes in Railways to Carry Forward PM Modi's Reform Agenda

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NEW DELHI: Railways have initiated bold steps for restructuring its Board, including redistribution of work among members and creation of a new post of Advisor from outside for resource mobilisation, as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's reform agenda earmarked for the national transporter.

The Advisor is expected to provide the much-needed impetus for resource mobilisation at a juncture when railways are undertaking large scale development and modernisation initiatives.

"In a first in railways, we will soon have an Advisor for resource mobilsation and development. The post will be filled through lateral entry via central staffing scheme as part of reforms to facilitate external talent at senior level. The selection process is in the final stage," said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the task of carrying out the new policy execution.

With a view to reorganising the Railway Board on functional lines, the policy involves redesignation of the posts and accordingly Member Engineering will become Member Infrastructure with additional responsibility of signal and telecom departments (S&T). Till now S&T was with the Member Electrical.

There will be a new post of Director General for S&T service to coordinate with the Member Infrastructure for smooth function of the department crucial for train operations.

Railways have already redesignated Board Member (Mechanical) and Member (Electrical) as Member (Rolling Stock) and Member (Traction), respectively while redistributing the works.

Now Member (Traction) will have responsibility of all locomotives -- diesel and electric, while Member (Rolling Stock) will be responsible for all coaches, including Trainsets and electrical maintenance of entire coaching stock.

Member (Traction) has also been given fuel management, including all forms of conventional and non-conventional energy generation.

He said the Board has been restructured on functional lines with a view to making working smooth and seamless as there were some overlapping areas which were creating hindrance and causing turf war among various directorates.

Besides, railways carved out a new directorate of environment to focus on green measures which were found to be lacking. The revival of all water bodies on railway land and massive transplantation of trees along the track have been undertaken among other green initiatives by the directorate.

Housekeeping responsibility has also been given to environment directorate to keep trains and stations clean and hygienic as railways face challenges in keeping rail premises environment-friendly.

Addressing the increasing number of complaints on account of catering, railways have launched the e-catering policy to give passengers options.

New policy implementations are required to make changes in railways as it is a thrust area for the government, said the official.
SOURCE :The Economic Times

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