Is it a safe journey? Over 1 lakh safety-related posts lying vacant in Indian Railways

New Delhi, December 20:  Piyush Goyal, the former Railway Minister took the charge of the Railway Ministry after Suresh Prabhu was shifted out in the wake of a number of rail accidents in last year.

Now, over one lakh posts related to the railways’ safety mechanism are lying  vacant as of April 2017, the government informed Parliament today.

In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that efforts were being made to fill up the vacant posts expeditiously.

According to the Minister “The number of posts lying vacant in safety cadres overall zonal railways is 1,28,942 as of April 2017. The number of vacant posts of all loco running categories including drivers is 17,457.”

After he took the charge of his office, the Piyush Goyal, gave a detailed reply to a man in Quora discussion forum, in which the man wanted to know “what is the Indian government doing to improve the safety of Indian Railways?”

The minister’s answer to this question was included with full of charts and photographs. The minister further said in his reply that  “Safety of all passengers in Indian Railways is an issue of the utmost importance for Government and therefore, we have made safety the number one priority.”

Many months have passed of after the Railway minister commented this on a public domain and still the safety of the Indian Railway and it’s passengers still purely vested in the ‘fate’.

In the reply in the parliament today Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain,  further stated that in the past five years, a total of 50,463 candidates had been empanelled for the post of assistant loco pilot through railway recruitment boards.

The railways have witnessed a spate of accidents in the recent past.

A few days ago, the Railway Board asked senior officials to work out a plan to reduce the time taken for recruitment from two years to six months.

The shortage of manpower in Indian Railways means that other workers have to work more and harder.