Minister Piyush Goyal shakes up railway board to boost efficiency | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Minister Piyush Goyal shakes up railway board to boost efficiency

Various committees recommended flab shedding of the rail bureaucracy in order to improve efficiency, and now, officers will get posted as additional divisional railway managers at 68 zonal headquarters.

india Updated: Oct 25, 2017 22:44 IST
HT Correspondent
Railways have had the bulkiest bureaucratic set up, with approximately 250 officers of the rank of directors or above being stationed at the railway board. (AFP Photo)
Railways have had the bulkiest bureaucratic set up, with approximately 250 officers of the rank of directors or above being stationed at the railway board. (AFP Photo)

Railways minister Piyush Goyal has initiated steps to decentralise powers to improve efficiency.

As part of its plan, it has decided to transfer 90 officers from the railway board to the zonal and divisional headquarters. “With operational and financial responsibilities been delegated to the zones and divisions, the board can make do with a smaller team to carry out advisory functions,” Goyal said at a press conference.

Among various Union ministries and departments, the Railways have had the bulkiest bureaucratic set up, with approximately 250 officers of the rank of directors or above being stationed at the railway board. Of these, about 100 are of the rank of joint secretaries.

Various committees, including those led by Rakesh Mohan and Bibek Debroy, had recommended flab shedding of the rail bureaucracy in order to improve efficiency.

To begin with, officers will get posted as additional divisional railway managers at 68 zonal headquarters.

“These posts will be filled up by officers from the zonal headquarters, while officials from the railway board will also be transferred,” sources said.

The railway minister also announced important policy changes, including decision to merge the “transformation cell” of the board with the “mobility directorate”. The “One-ICT” cell will also get merged with the operating team, he said.

Stressing that safety of passengers would remain his priority, Goyal said there are plans to procure seven lakh tons of additional rail to take forward the track renewal programme at a faster pace. “A global tender on the purchase plan has already been floated,” the minister said.

Goyal also announced that the Mumbai suburban service would get its first air-conditioned train from January 1. The plan has been in the making for approximately one year.

The AC train, which will have around seven services daily, will run on the western line.

Officials said that the fares of the AC train will be like that of the Delhi Metro or around 1.5 times the cost of first class tickets in the existing local trains.