Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal has shifted the railway ministry on the electoral track. Putting the transport behemoth to its conventional best use – extracting populism – Bansal has announced jobs for those who lose their land for railway infrastructure projects.
It’s a two-pronged move that will bring respite to the land losers, curb litigation and also calm the nerves of UPA alliance partners like Trinamool Congress and the Samajwadi Party – who are seeking an opportunity to pounce upon the government.
Speaking in the Lok sabha, railway minister Bansal said railways may invite job application from those who lose their lands for railway projects, in the 1800 grade pay, and Rs 5,200- Rs 20,200 pay band one. Though the applicants will have to fulfill the eligibility criteria, the railway ministry may decide to grant relaxations in some of the cases.
The catch, however, is that those who lose their land to the railways will not get any alternative land from the state government. Only one member from the family which provides land for the railway project will be eligible for the job.
A senior railway ministry official said, “Land acquisition has been one of the major issues in the present times. Schemes like these will help railways acquire lands for mega infrastructure projects such as dedicated freight corridors and locomotive units. This will also ensure seamless land acquisition without much litigations.”
Interestingly, there is a vacancy of over one lakh employees across categories in the railway as of now.