New Delhi: The Indian Railways have formulated gigantic plans to reduce the accident rate by installing modern equipments and implementing latest techniques, but the department has failed to realize that it is equally important to keep the technical work force agile, active and motivated; and that can be possible only if their interests and needs are duly taken care of.

The technical work force that numbers around 10 lakh is a dejected lot because despite being literally responsible for running the lifeline of public transport in the country, their non-technical brethrens accrue better remunerations and perks.

The discrimination starts at the recruitment stage itself. For employee to be recruited on a technical job under Group C, the minimum eligibility is a high school certificate and an ITI certificate, but for the same grade, non-technicians like TC, clerk, telephone operator become eligible just by having a high school certificate.

While a non-technical employee in the same grade gets a salary of Rs 1900 to 4600 (with promotion), a technician gets only Rs 1900 to 4200 which is again divided into two sub-sections. In reality, a technician hardly reaches to the second grade.

Taking the plight of the technical staff under consideration, the Fifth Pay Commission had made it clear that, in case a technical staff has any added experience with a high school certificate then he should get a salary of Rs 4000 to Rs 6000.

But the railway technical staff is given a pay slip of Rs 3050 to Rs 4590. In comparison, technicians with the same eligibility in the Akashvani are getting a salary of Rs 4500 to Rs 7000.

Technical Employees Association of Railways (TAR) president JP Mishra feels that dissatisfaction amongst the work force kills their motivation which leads to human error resulting in accidents.

“As the technicians are not paid well, the employees fail to show motivation and work carelessly,” he said adding that people with similar eligibility employed with Aakashwani are paid well.

About employees under Category D, Mishra said, “The employees under this category not only need a pay hike but also a proper name to their job profile.”

JPN/Bureau