The government is expecting an investment in rolling stock to the tune of at least Rs 22,500 crore, and Railways is hoping to earn through licence fee and haulage charges by leasing out 100 traffic-heavy routes to private players, who will operate 150 trains.
The Budget, to be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday, however, might not reflect this scenario yet, papering over what is being believed to be the worst financial crisis ever faced by the national transporter.
A letter jointly written by the service associations of Indian Railway Traffic Service, Indian Railway Personnel Service and Indian Railway Accounts Service officers says that the move to merge the cadres will kill specialization in Railways
In its petition, the association has suggested that the posts of zonal General Managers, Divisional Railway Managers (DRM) and Railway Board Members should be filled through a revised selection process and not just through seniority among various services.
The proposed merger combines all cadres of Railways officers into a single Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS). Any eligible officer can occupy any post, irrespective of training and specialisation.
Sources said a possible marginal increase in the suburban network, scattered over various distance slabs, is on the discussion table, even though no timeline has been decided and the details are still being worked out.
The government has decided to trim the Railway Board, and merge service cadres. How were the Railways being run so far, and why was an overhaul felt necessary? And why has it upset civil servants in Railways?
His report is being cited by the government and all stakeholders to argue both in favour of and against the recent controversial move to unify all eight Group A services into one Indian Railways Management Service.
Thousands of postcards are being readied to be sent to Modi and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, signed by civil servants and others from Railways, demanding two unified services — one technical and one non-technical — instead of one for civil servants.
“We are going to rationalise both fare and freight. Freight rates are already very high so I don’t think we will be raising freight rates... in fact, we need to rationalise freight rates... to bring down logistics cost,” Railway Board chairman V K Yadav said.