New Delhi: Railways are yet to fill 2.1 lakh vacant posts, including 90,000 safety-related vacancies, crucial for train operation. The safety-related posts include loco running staff, driver, station master, guard, technology supervisor, control and yard staff, signal inspector and maintenance employees.
Besides safety, there are also large number of vacancies in workshops, commercial section, para-medical and office staff in Railways which needs to be filled up. Railways, however, maintain that an aggressive recruitment drive is underway to fill up vacant posts. "Six months before the total vacant posts were 2.6 lakh and now it has come down to 2.1 lakh as we have undertaken a massive recruitment drive," a senior Railway official said, adding that "the number will further go down to 1.5 lakh in the next six months."
Altogether 67 accidents have occurred in the current fiscal while six have occurred in October itself. "Railways maintain sufficient cushion in safety posts like drivers. The recruitment is an ongoing process and due to a well defined procedure and constant retirements, there will always remain some unfilled vacancies at a given point of time," he added.
Railways have carried out written examinations for 32,000 Group C vacancies and for about 85,000 Group D vacancies in the current fiscal. "The priority in all such recruitment is given to safety category posts," the official said. The official said that in the last two years about 84,000 vacancies in various Group C and D in safety categories were filled up. In addition, more than 10,000 recruitment were done in Group C and D on compassionate ground.
"During this financial year, we have proposed to fill up one lakh vacancies, the process for which has already been initiated," he said. "As a special initiative for future vacancies likely to arise over a two year time-frame, fresh recruitment process has also been set in motion," the official said.