New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) In view of the novel coronavirus crisis in India, the Indian Railways on Tuesday announced that it shall make the payment to the contractual and outsourced railway staff during the period of the suspension of the passenger train services.
The Railway Board in a circular to the employees said, “Due to prevailing Covid-19 situation in India, vide Railway Board letter under reference above decision has already been taken to stop the passenger services till March, 31.”
The railways said that due to this several contractual staff engaged in OBHS, AC on train, sanitation, pantry car and commercial activities etc have been stranded and have to compulsorily stay at other places, while others have to be in readiness to attend the duties at short notice,” it said.
“In order to reduce the hardship being faced by these workers, Railway Board has decided to treat the employees of private establishments (including temporary/contractual/outsourced etc) engaged in providing services in trains, stations and offices, directly affected with suspension of services and lockdown situations, as on duty and be paid accordingly till the expiry of suspension of services/lockdown or as advised by Central government in this regard,” the Board said. “This is applicable on contracts awarded on manpower basis,” the Board added.
It further said that the maximum payment which may be made, shall be limited to 70 per cent of the contract value for contracts awarded on lump sum basis (i.e. not on manpower basis).
It said that the railways are advised to ensure that such employees are not retrenched due to the suspension of services/lockdown and are paid in the manner prescribed above. The Railways has around 13 lakh permanent employees and over 4.5 lakh contractual and outsourced staff.
Following the COVID-19 crisis in India, which has claimed 10 lives and over 500 persons have tested positive for the same, the railways has announced suspension of the passenger, mail and express trains since Monday, keeping over 13,600 trains from the tracks. Only freight trains are in service to ensure the supply of essential commodities.