The Indian Railways is set to cut down the staff strength of its board from 200 to about 150 by transferring about five director-level officials and above to zonal railways to increase efficiency, reports Hindustan Times.
According to the report, a senior official of the Ministry of Railways said that the transfers would be completed within a month. The official added that the move will not have any affect on the top-level members of the board.
“It was one of the top suggestions of railway minister Piyush Goyal and was to be done on priority. In a review meeting, it was noted to review a deployment of railway staff. It was felt there were too many officers within the railway board looking at the same thing. The officers will be sent to supervise and help in the functioning of the zones. A final decision is yet to be taken on how many officers will be transferred,” an official familiar with the development was quoted in the report as saying.
Earlier in 2015, a committee headed by economist Bibek Debroy had recommended the restructuring of the Railway Board, the apex body of Indian Railways. The eight-member panel was constituted in September 2014 by the Railway Ministry for the mobilisation of resources for major railway projects and restructuring of the organisation.
“As pointed out by many previous committees over the years, the Indian Railways organisation has grown into an overly centralised and hierarchical organisation. The feeling of departmentalism adversely affects the working culture in the IR [Indian Railways] and has resulted in actions and decisions based on narrow departmental goals instead of on organisational objectives or benefits,” the committee had said in its report, as reported by HT.
As per the report, the panel suggested three changes in the functioning of the Railways - corporatising the board, forming an independent regulator for economic regulation, and separation of roles of policy making, regulation and operations.
It also recommended rationalisation of the railway zones and divisions as there were too many of them.