Operation of rail service still in limbo

KATHMANDU: Although it has been a month since the trains arrived in the country from India, rail services are yet to be started. The much-awaited trains were brought to Nepal on September 18 but till date rail services have not begun.

The government which was lauded initially when the trains arrived in the country is now being criticized for not starting operations of the rail service. As soon as the trains arrived they were immediately returned to Inaruwa rail station without holding them even for four hours at Jankapur station. Since then, the trains stand covered with yellow tarpaulin at the Inaruwa station. Till now Nepal Railway company is uncertain about when it will start operation.

The railway department and the company had held discussions about managing the human resources within a month. However, the recruitment process has also not been completed due to which operation of the train service is in limbo.

Earlier, when the company had requested the Council of Ministers to allow it to hire manpower on a temporary basis, the Public Service Commission had intervened and stopped the process citing that hiring a large number of people on contract basis would create problems in the future. Hence, the company started the process to hire employees on a permanent basis.

In fact, the company had even sought applications for 172 positionsthrough the Public Service Commission. However, the recruitment process has been delayed due to the risk of coronavirus infection and now due to the festive season. As per a source, the company has already received 32,000 applications.

Former director general of the railway department, Balaram Mishra, said that the train service would have already started if staff were hired for the time being on a contract basis. He said that due to the process of recruiting the employees on permanent basis it will now take up to six months to start the train service.

The process of hiring employees for core technical posts like rail driver, power engineer, maintenance manager and station master, among others, is also in limbo.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday October 18, 2020, 02:30:23 PM |

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