More reports on: Railways

Railways to hire 200,000 workers, improve track safety

23 August 2017

The Indian Railways is planning to hire nearly 2,00,000 workers in the next few years as the increasing number of track-related accidents forces the government to strengthen safety on the ground.

The massive recruitment of workers to man the world's fourth-longest railway tracks followed a series of mishaps in the last three years which accounted for at least 650 deaths, says a report in The Economic Times.

Indian Railways, the country's largest public sector unit, had an employee strength of over 1.3 million as of December 2016, but is still short of 225,823 employees in Group 'C' and Group 'D' categories.

The addition of 20,000 workers will take the total number of employees working for the railways from 1.3 million to 1.5 million.

The Railways has planned investments of around Rs15,000 crore in the current fiscal mainly for improving safety and, according to the report, much of that investment will be used for hiring workers to look after safety and maintenance work.

The move comes after a steady rise in railway accidents, mostly stemming from poor track maintenance or lack of oversight.

Railways reported the highest number of accidents in recent years, with 115 train accidents on an average over the past three years.

And, despite the Railways' drive to close all unmanned crossings, the bulk of the accidents that take place every year is at unmanned level crossings, according to railway officials.

Indian Railways still has over 6,000 unmanned railway crossings across the country.

With a total track length of more than 67,312 km, Indian Railways runs around 12,600 trains and carry about 23 million passengers every day.

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