After the Union Cabinet’s decision Tuesday to downsize the Railway Board from eight to five, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said the restructuring will end departmentalism. In a major move, the Cabinet today approved the trimming of Railway Board, including the chairman, and merging its different cadres and departments into a single entity.
At a press briefing Tuesday, after the Union Cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Piyush Goyal said, “Instead of Railway Board Members for Traffic, Rolling Stock, Traction and Engineering, the newly constituted board will have five members which will include Members for Operation, Business Development, Infrastructure and Finance among others.”
Instead of the current eight services for various departments, including Engineering, Traffic, Mechanical and Electrical, the newly constituted board will have five members which will include Members for Operation, Business Development, Infrastructure and Finance among others, he said.
The Railways will also now have just two departments – Railway Protection Force and Medical Service Department – with all its other departments coming under one Railway Management System.
According to sources, the restructuring was done to ensure the end of turf wars among the different cadres and departments which was harming railway operations. Restructuring of the Railway Board was also recommended by the Bibek Debroy Committee on Indian Railways in 2015, reported news agency PTI.
The panel said in its report that the Indian Railways’ centralised structure and departmentalisation was adversely affecting the Railways’ work culture and narrowing its approach to department-specific goals.
Apart from this, the government has also said that outside talent may be engaged in Railways in non-executive posts. The chairman will also be called CEO of Railway Board. However, there is no intention or proposal to bring in IAS or any other official as CEO. IRMS officer will be the chairman, the government said.
-With PTI inputs
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