Indian Railways moves towards big reform! Railway Board downsized by 25%; 50 officers transferred

Devanjana Nag
Indian Railways

Indian Railways takes big step to enhance efficiency! According to a government order, the strength of the Railway Board has been cut down from 200 to 150. Many director-level officers and above have been transferred to various zones of Indian Railways. According to sources quoted in a PTI report, the transfer orders of these 50 high ranking officials were issued on Monday. A senior official said that the move is a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of less bureaucracy, less government and maximum governance. According to him, these officials from Railway Board have gone where their work will be most effectively utilized.

According to the report, the transferred officials are from across railway cadres- 10 officials each from IRTS and IRSE, seven officials from IRAS, six officials from IRSME, five officials each from IRSSE and IRSEE, three officials each from IRPS and IRSS and one official from RPF. The idea was first recommended by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government in 2000, which suggested the right-sizing of the apex decision making body of Indian Railways.

Last month, it was reported that Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry was mulling restructuring the Railway Board. This was part of the Railway Minister’s 100-day agenda and also a top priority for current Railway Board Chairman V K Yadav. The Bibek Debroy Committee on Indian Railways also recommended restructuring of the Railway Board in 2015. The panel stated in its report that the national transporter’s centralized structure, as well as departmentalization, was adversely affecting Indian Railways’ work culture and also narrowing its approach to department-specific goals.

According to a senior official, it has been noticed that Indian Railways, including the Railway Board, was always overstaffed. Due to this, the efficiency of the organization was getting affected. The official further said that there had been no serious attempts to review the exact number of employees actually needed by the national transporter for efficient functioning and financial viability. The sources quoted in the report believe that restructuring of the Railway Board is just the beginning of an overhaul of the Railway Ministry.

Recently, it was reported that the Railway Minister had instructed the Railway Board Chairman, its members and general managers of zonal railways to review staff and to use the surplus strength in operational work only. Goyal also said that the strength and deployment of peons across the Indian Railways network should be reviewed and only the bare minimum should be deployed.