Calcutta, July 25: The railway ministry has started the process of giving jobs to people who have lost land because of railway projects.
The Railway Board has issued a formal directive to zonal railways to consider job applications from landlosers. The directive has been sent to all zonal railways and the policy is being implemented with immediate effect, a senior Railway Board official said today.
Last November, railway minister Mamata Banerjee had promised at a programme in Hooghly that her ministry would provide jobs to a member of each family that has lost land because of railway projects.
She had said the railways required small stretches of land for laying tracks but promised that projects would be implemented only at places where people would willingly give land against compensation.
The Railway Board circular has laid down guidelines for selecting applicants under the job-for-land policy.
The applicant should be the sole owner of the acquired plot or next of kin of the owner. If the land is owned by more than one person, railway officials would decide who should be considered for the job.
It must be ensured that the displaced person has not received any land from the state government in lieu of his or her land that has been acquired for the project, the circular states.
The railway administration will request the land acquisition officer to issue certificates to those whose land has been acquired.
The general managers of railway zones will have the power to relax the educational criteria if they are satisfied that a candidate is fit for the job, the circular says.
The general managers will also have to ensure fairness in the implementation of the job policy. Divisional railway managers have been asked to co-ordinate with job applicants.
Railway ministry sources said 1.7 lakh of 14 lakh railway posts are lying vacant.
However, most of these are technical posts, an official said.