Indian Railways, the country's biggest employer, has abolished more than 72,000 posts in the last six years against a proposal to surrender 81,000 posts during the same period, according to official documents. All of these are Group C and D posts which have become redundant due to technology, and they will not be available for recruitment purposes in the future.
Employees currently holding such posts are likely to be absorbed in the various departments of the Railways.
Officials said these posts had to be eliminated as Railway operations have become modern and digitised.
According to the documents, the 16 zonal railways have surrendered 56,888 "non-essential" posts during the financial years 2015-16 to 2020-21, with 15,495 more scheduled to be surrendered.
While the Northern Railways has surrendered more than 9,000 posts, the South Eastern Railway has given up around 4,677. The Southern Railway has abolished 7,524 posts and the Eastern Railways more than 5,700.
Sources said a work-study performance of staffers, which determines if a certain post is defunct or not, for the financial year 2021-22 is in the final stages. It is expected that around 9,000 more posts will be surrendered after the process is completed.
The number of sanctioned posts in the Railways is also decreasing due to outsourcing.
The Railways' employee strength has been a burden for the transporter, both in terms of salaries and pensions.
The transporter has to spend one-third of its total income on salaries and pensions. It currently spends 37 paise out of every one rupee earned on salaries of workers and 16 paise on pensions.