RAILWAYS

PMO to take stock of railway services merger tomorrow as ministry wants process fast-tracked

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is set to take stock of the railway services merger process, in light of the discord among officers, ThePrint has learnt.

According to sources, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal is expected to brief the PMO at 11.30 am Saturday on the progress of the merger of eight railway services into a unified Indian Railway Managerial Service (IRMS) — a process the ministry is seeking to complete by November 2020.

The meeting with the PMO comes just two days after Goyal met associations of different services, and sought to fast-track the process, which has caused discord in the railway ranks.

“Certain decisions like recruitment of IRMS through Civil Services Exam of the UPSC, promotion on merit and not just seniority, along with concerns of the services will be discussed with the PMO,” said an official, who did not want to be named.

In addition, the PMO will also review the fast-tracking of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, making dedicated freight corridors operational at the earliest, exploring ways of overcoming the revenue shortfall because of Covid-19 and ways to raise additional revenues to keep railways afloat.

It will also evaluate the progress of the station redevelopment project, examine the progress of private investment in different work, including private trains, as well as ways to fast-track linking Kashmir, and take stock of the progress on the Bilaspur-Leh line.

As reported by ThePrint, the PMO would also review the multi-crore signalling project of RailTel, for which the costs have become a bone of contention between the railway ministry and RailTel.

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