NEW DELHI: A year after the Bibek Debroy committee submitted its report on restructuring of Ministry of Railways and Railway Board, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has started the ball rolling by taking policy decisions and starting a dialogue in the Railway Board for major changes in coming days.
This comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi during review of Ministry of Railways Monday asked it to fasten the process of restructuring for better management of the government run transport.
Prabhu has taken two policy decisions in last two months which are seen in the Railway Board as move towards restructuring. First one involves bringing work related to signaling, which was till now handled by Member Electrical, under Member Engineering.
The other one is of all General Managers of Rail coach/locomotive factories have been asked to report directly to Chairman Railway Board.
After the Debroy Committee report, the idea that was floated in the Railway Board was of splitting the post of Member Traffic, which constitutes passenger and freight segment to two separate entities viz Passenger Business and Freight. There are also plans to merge Electrical and Mechanical and call it as Rolling Stock while Engineering to be rechristened as Infrastructure.
“We have started the process of restructuring of Railway Board and to start with unification of railway cadres needs to take place as we want to bring a uniformity of service. We will soon approach the cabinet for merger of railway cadres,” said Prabhu.
The Debroy committee in its report in June last year has mentioned that Indian Railway has grown into an overly centralized and hierarchal organization. The feeling of departmentalization adversely affects the working culture in Railways and has resulted in actions and decisions based on narrow departmental goals instead of organizational objectives and benefits.
“This Committee strongly recommends reduction in the number of Group-A services in IR and also suggests two options for this. One option is the amalgamation of all existing services into a single unified Railways Service. The second option that this Committee suggests is that IR should consolidate and merge the existing eight organised Group ‘A’ services, preferably into two services,” said the committee.