Ministry of Railways,
(Government of India),
Sub: Rail Budget 2014-15 – AIRF’s suggestions
All India Railwaymen’s Federation(AIRF), the largest federation of the Ministry of Railways, would like to place following general and genuine demands of the Railwaymen and their dependents for inclusion in the forthcoming Rail Budget 2014-15.
1. The former Hon’ble Minister for Railways had made a number of announcements in regard to various Welfare Schemes while presenting successive Rail Budgets, that include opening of Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges, Central Schools, Technical Institutions etc. was made. In addition. In addition, “Own Your House Scheme” and provision of Mobile Medical Van for treatment of Railway Staff and their families posted on roadside station, was also announced by them for the Railwaymen. It is unfortunate that the above schemes have yet not been seen the light of the day due to one reason or the other and no proper budget allocation is made for implementation of the same.
Ref.: (i) Para 32 of Hon’be MR’s Rail Budget Speech for the year 2009-10 in respect of setting up of Nursing College and Medical Colleges.
Ref.: (ii) Para 50 of Hon’be MR’s Rail Budget Speech for the year 2010-11 – Setting up of hospitals and educational institutions on surplus railway land.
Ref.: (iii) Para 61 of Hon’be MR’s Rail Budget Speech for the year 2011-12 in respect of setting up of Polytechnics
With a view to secure trust and believe of more than 13 lakh Railwaymen in the Railway Ministry, it would be quite appropriate that necessary budgetary provision is ensured in the forthcoming Rail Budget for the year 2014-15, so that there is some visible progress in this regard.
2. Extension of LARSGESS
The “Liberalized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment of Safety Staff” (LARSGESS) was introduced in the year 2010, modifying the “Safety Related Voluntary Retirement Scheme” in vogue, that came into effect in the year 2005.
This LARSGESS Scheme has been working quite successfully and satisfactorily in maintaining safety standards on the Indian Railways and has equally been found economically viable also, as such the scope of this scheme needs to be extended to cover all Safety Categories Staff working in GP up Rs.4600.
3. Improvement in the condition of Railway Colonies, roads and Running/Rest Rooms
A large number of Railway quarters are over-aged and their maintenance/repair is not practicable due to abnormally high cost. Due to paucity of sufficient funds, neither proper maintenance/repair of the Railway quarters is being managed nor new quarters built in replacement of the old-aged ones. The roads and drainage system in the Railway Colonies is also in very depleted condition. Similar is the condition of most of the Drivers/Guard’s Running Rooms, TTEs Rest Rooms, Subordinate Rest Houses and Rest Rooms for other Railways staff, as a result of which, these staff are not able to take proper rest therein.
Adequate funds needs to be allocated for improvement in the condition of Railway Colonies, Running Rooms, Rest Houses, Rest Rooms etc. as also for provision of separate Ladies Running Rooms/Rest Rooms, Toilets and Change Room for Women Railway Employees.
4. Improvement in medical facilities
Railway Health Services are getting deteriorated day-by-day due to non-availability of adequate number of Railway doctors, paramedical staff and infrastructure. Even life saving medicines are at times not being provided to Railway beneficiaries on account of paucity of resources. Proper allocation of funds for overall improvement in Railway Health Services is, therefore, required to be made so as to engage Specialist Doctors, paramedical staff and availability of proper quality of medicines, particularly life saving medicines from reputed firms. Sufficient number of specialized private or semi-government hospitals are also required to be recognized for treatment of Railway beneficiaries at all important stations.
The already announced “Smart Card” facility for getting cashless treatment in recognized hospitals has not yet been implemented despite lapse of sufficient time, as such this facility be introduced immediately for all existing and retired Railway employees so that they are able to get hassle-free treatment in emergency.
In the wake of present Central Government’s scheme to open Medical Colleges in all the district hospitals, all the Divisional Hospitals in the Railways should also be considered for opening of Associated Medical Colleges, wherein facilities available in this hospitals, like doctors, paramedical staff and other medical facilities can be made use of, because the Divisional Hospitals mostly cover more than one district.
There should be no age bar for getting treatment from the Railway Hospitals/Referral Hospitals for the wards of the Railwaymen, and the same should continue till marriage of the daughter or employment of the son without any age limit.
5. Filling up of Safety Category Posts
It is seen that despite several assurances by the Ministry of Railways, around 1.5 lakh Safety Category Posts always remain unfilled, which is a potential danger to the safety of rail operation. Some new mechanism, therefore, needs to be developed to fill up at least vacancies in the Safety Categories in a time bound manner, wherein priority needs to be given to the wards of the Railwaymen. This procedure was in vogue in the early 1990s
6. Extension of facilities of Privilege/Complimentary Passes
It may be recalled that, one of the former Hon’ble Ministers for Railways had announced to extend the benefit of Privilege/Complimentary Pass to both the parents of the Railwaymen and the officers, but the same is yet to be implemented. In case of Defence employees and other enterprises, both the parents are entitled to avail the facility of free travel, but not in the Railways, which is the largest transport system in our country. This needs to be implemented forthwith.
The facility of Post Retirement Complimentary Passes is being denied to all those Railway employees who could not complete 20 years of Qualifying Service due to their late entry in the Railways, either appointed on compassionate ground or absorption of Coolies, employment of Ex. Servicemen in Railways. Since all these appointments are made under special circumstances, the condition of minimum Qualifying Service of 20 years needs to be relaxed for such employees.
The age limit for entitlement of Passes also needs to be enhanced for dependent son in the present social scenario until they get employment, without any age bar.
7. Revision of New Pension Scheme
During the course of negotiations held with the Railway Board on 07.02.2014 on the 36-point Charter of Demands of the AIRF for Railway Strike, it was unanimously agreed that New Pension Scheme will be replaced with “Old/Guaranteed Pension Scheme” for those employed on or after 01.01.2004 on Indian Railways on the pattern of Defence personnel. The former Hon’ble MR had, therefore, taken up this issue with the Ministry of Finance also. Suitable measures be announced to meet the agreement arrived at between the Staff Side and the Railway Board.
8. Absorption of Quasi-Administrative Staff in the Railways
The Quasi-Administrative Staff employed on the Indian Railways be regularized and Railway Board may be instructed to restore the scheme for Quasi-Administrative Offices as being allowed in case of Railway Officers for engaging TADK/Bungalow Peon.
9. Provision of proper infrastructure and manpower while introducing new trains
New trains are being introduced as a regular measure without providing proper infrastructure and adequate manpower, resulting in increasing workload has become a safety hazard, owing to shortage of staff and improper infrastructure. Therefore, no new trains be introduced until proper infrastructure and adequate manpower is made available for running the same.
With kind regards!
Source : AIRF