GMs post to be upgraded to apex level: Chairman Railway Board

By Anand Singh

New Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) Chairman Railway Board V.K. Yadav on Friday asserted that with the organisational restructuring of the railways through the unification of the existing eight Group A services into one central service called the Indian Railway Management Service (IRMS), no official will face a career growth problem and also the post of the General Managers in the national transporter will be upgraded to the apex level so that they can take any decision in the field instantly.

He also refuted the claims that the national transporter was going to increase the passenger fares as he said that there is no such thinking and added that it was only doing a study over the rationalisation of freight fares.In an interview to IANS at his office in Rail Bhavan here, Yadav said, “The government has decided to restructure railway board on functional line. Currently, there are eight board members and we are going to restructure it into four functions. They are infrastructure, rolling stock and traction, operation and business development and finance.”

He said now there will be four board members and beside these, there will be a non-executive independent member, who will have an experience of more than 30 years and they will be able to give their inputs and suggestions to the railway board.He was responding to a question over the government’s approval of organisational restructuring of the railways through the unification of the existing eight Group A services into one central service called the IRMS.

Speaking about the motive of the restructuring of the organisation, he said, “It has been restructured in such a way that the challenges of railways and board like issues of passenger amenities and increase in freight loading are addressed.”The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday approved the organisational restructuring of the railways.

Yadav stressed that new recruitments in the railway services will now be done through the UPSC.”I even met UPSC chairman and discussed the modalities for the railways,” Yadav said.Taking the concerns of the General Managers, Yadav emphasised that the government has decided to upgrade the post of General Managers to the apex level.”The motive behind this step is that the General Managers now will be empowered to take any decision in the field,” Yadav said.

When asked about many former Chairmen and other railway officials questioning the organisational restructuring of the railways, he said, “There were silos and all the committees which were formed earlier have said that.””The problem was that as there were eight services many times it was found that people focused more on their services and the corporate objective of the railways took a back seat. Thus to keep those things away the government took this decision,” he said.

He also stressed that before implementing a big decision there are always some hiccups. “But we will together overcome it with only one motive of working for the growth of the railways,” he added.When it was pointed out that many railway officers were fearing a block in their career growth, he reassured them that no official will face a career growth problem.

“Many officers are thinking that due to the organisational restructuring some officers may face a problem in their career growth. I want to assure them that no one will face any kind of problem in their career growth and even the apex level post which was earlier only 10 in railways will now be increased to 34,” he said.Yadav added that all 34 posts will be open for all services. “So any railway officer can reach there as it is open for all. And this has opened the new dynamics for the railway officials,” Yadav added.

When asked about the passenger fare rationalisation, he said, “I would not comment on rationalisation of passenger fares. I can only say that it has not been thought of as of now. Rationalisation of freight fares was discussed yesterday (Thursday).”His remarks came a day after some sections of the media misquoted that the national transporter was studying rationalisation of passenger and freight fares.

Clarifying his stand, Yadav said, “I discussed the fare rationalisation issue as we found that the freight rates at a number of places are higher than roadways, which is leading to a loss for the railways.””So we are studying the fare rationalisation in the national interest, as it is more environment friendly. We have to reduce the logistics cost and increase the freight services of the railways to support economic growth. And yesterday, I said that that we are only doing a study so that we can improve the freight share,” Yadav said.