Close to 200,000 workers are set to join Indian Railways in the next few years with the world's fourth largest rail network aiming to strenghten its safety measures in the wake of recent accidents, according to a Economic Times report. This will take the total number of employees working for the railways from 1.3 million to 1.5 million, a huge jump of almost 15 percent.
The massive recruitment drive by the largest PSU followed a series of mishaps in the last three years which accounted for at least 650 deaths, the report said.
As of December 2016, Railways has a staff strength of more than 1.3 million, while it has 225,823 vacancies in Group ‘C’ and Group ‘D’ categories.
The Railways will invest Rs 15,000 crore in the current fiscal to fix snags, the national
daily quoted a top rail official. "Most of the hiring in the coming days will be to fill the posts in the safety and maintenance category," he said, adding there have been 115 train accidents on an average every year in the last three years.
Railway officials say the bulk of the accidents that take place every year is at unmanned level crossings. Indian Railways currently has more than 6,000 unmanned railway crosses across the country now.
Indian Railways extends to more than 67,312-kilometre track, having about 12,600 trains carrying about 23 million passengers a day.
A train derailed in the state of Uttar Pradesh, killing at least 21 people last week.