38,000 porters to get railway jobs

February 26th, 2008 - 6:45 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Coolies, as railway porters are called in India, will get permanent employment as “gangmen” in the railways if they hold a license, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced Tuesday. The licensed porters will be mainly deployed in field and operational work, said a railway spokesperson. “They can be put in service to man signals, tracks and stations besides other operational work in and around the stations.

“Porters are already familiar with the ambience of the railways. They know how we operate at stations. They can be groomed easily,” the official said, shortly after Lalu Prasad made the announcement while presenting the railway budget.

Railway data show there are 38,000 licensed porters in the country. Inducting them would help the railways to meet manpower needs since it faces a shortage of 140,000 personnel, the official said.

Licensed railway porters are not employees of Indian Railways. They are merely contracted by it to offer their services to passengers.

Although the railways are in no way obliged to provide monetary or other benefits to licensed porters, they are traditionally offered some facilities as a goodwill gesture.

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