Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday announced a series of steps in the Railways, including decentralization of power, to carry out safety related work.Goyal told the media that General Managers had been given full powers to sanction out of turn safety related work without any ceiling, "within the financial limit set out by Ministry of Finance".Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) and Chief Workshop Managers can now re-engage retired railway employees up to 62 years against vacancies."This will take care of safety and maintenance related work wherever there are vacancies," Goyal said.Enhanced powers for repair of Track Machines have been given to the field officers for faster track safety work. The minister said procedures had been substantially simplified for procurement of material like spare parts for locomotives and coaches.The remarks come at a time of recurring railway accidents in the country leading to several deaths.
Goyal said that in order to provide faster access to breakdown or work sites, junior field officers and supervisors in charge had been provided multi-utility vehicles.They can also hire vehicles up to Rs 5,000 per case for rushing to the location without loss of time."This will lead to faster restoration of train services and improve punctuality and safety of trains," Goyal said.For improving station and passenger interface, the amount sanctioned to DRMs for undertaking work on waiting halls, platform shelter, lifts, escalators, digital chart displays, illumination and train/coach indication board has been hiked from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2.5 crore per case.Goyal said a high powered committee had been set up under the Secretary of Railway Board to restructure Rail Land Development Authority to fast track re-development of stations and monetization of vacant railway land.