New Delhi: In a bid to ensure the completion of pending rail projects in the tribal regions of the country, the Parliamentary Standing Committee has asked the Ministry of Railways to seek additional fund from the Central government. Also, the panel has asked the Ministry to find ways to increase the number of recruitments of SCs and STs in the Railways.

The committee which deals with the issues of SCs and STs in a report to the Parliament informed that in the absence to basic facilities of transport and other needs of life, people from the tribal areas are attracted towards Naxalism.

The Railways which is already facing fund crunch should ask for additional aid from the Centre for completion of the pending projects in the tribal regions, the panel said.

The 30-member Committee headed by Trinamool Congress MP Gobinda Chandra Naskar also suggested increasing the number of seats of the Railways exams. It was highlighted, as there is a lack of transport facility for the aspiring SC/ ST candidates, they fail to sit for the exams. Therefore, examination centers should be opened in the nearby cities.

Taking note of many SC/ST posts particularly in technical and paramedical jobs remaining vacant, the panel strongly felt that pre-recruitment training should also be imparted to SC/ST candidates.

The committee has asked the Railways to initiate a special recruitment drive for SC/ST candidates.

On the issue of speeding up verification of false caste certificates, the Committee finds Railways' attitude as "lackadaisical" and has asked the Ministry to take the fake caste certificate issues seriously. The committee has also recommended reservations in catering contracts.

JPN/Bureau