Railway Guards whose scarcity had been a massive shortage of essential human resource to the Department of Railways for years 08 years, have finally been recruited. Accordingly, 114 of Guards were recruited to the Department of Railways on 09.11.2016.
Human Resources required by the Department of Railways such as Station Masters, Railway Drivers, Railway Guards have already been recruited under the “Human Resource Programme” initiated by Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva – the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation with the assumption of office by the new government. The Department of Railways emphasizes that the total cadre of guards of the Department is 680 and, there were only 432 of guards. The Department also emphasizes that recruitment of 114 of guards will be a helping hand in delivering a quality service for the public.
The Department further emphasizes that the recruitments of guards have been made by formal written exams and interviews held by the Department of Railways in collaboration with the Department of Examinations.
The Minister said on the occasion that “ I am happy as the Minister in charge of the subject to fulfill a long felt need of the Department of Railways by recruiting 114 of guards”.
The Minister also expressed that “ these recruitments were made by the National Government upholding the principles of good governance such as transparency. There are no relatives or political allies of me among the newly recruited guards. All appointees have shown highest skills in the written examination and as well as in the interview. So, we recruited the most eligible people without any political bias. We did not look at the political party of the appointees. Therefore, they have been able to serve on merit. Engine drivers will also be recruited by following the due process. The Minister also said that “young people of this caliber are required for the development of the Department of Railways and, the personality of such people should be built.
The Minister further expressed on the Department of Railways that “ he prioritized the solution of issues of railway employees upon assumption of duties as the Minister and, measures such as importing locomotives will be taken for the improvement of the railway service. The Minister also said that installment of electric signal systems in railway crossings will be completed during the coming two years.
Hon. Ashok Abesinghe – The Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation and a number of officers including Mr. Nihal Somaweera – Secretary to the Ministry and Mr. B.A.P Ariaratne – General Manager of Railways also graced the occasion.
Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva – Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation is of the view that Lakdiwa Enginnering Institute will be a profit making institute by producing spare parts and equipment for the maintenance of railway tracks. The Minister expressed these views at a ceremony held on 2016.10.07 at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation at Sethsiripaya premises in order to hand over the sets of equipment including railway track joining nails produced by Lakdiwa Enginnering Institute to the Department of Railways.
Minister further stated that the “Lakdiwa Engineering Institute which is an affiliated institute of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has become a profitable institute as it opted for new projects”. And also, the Department of Railways will be able to save a large sum of money incurred for purchasing equipment and tools associated with iron from the private sector or for importing the same due to the production of them by the Lakdiwa Engineering Institute.
The Minister further stated that “ the Lakdiwa Engineering Institute has set a good example for the government programme that has been commenced realizing the government policy of maintaining government institutions profitable without the same being privatized. Therefore, the officers including the Secretary to the Ministry have been instructed to direct all the vehicles owned by the Ministry and its affiliated institutes to be repaired to the Lakdiwa Engineering Institute in the future. I am confident that the Lakdiwa Engineering Institute will be able to make profits by grasping this opportunity.
A large sum of money had to be incurred to import the equipment and tools that were handed over today for the maintenance of railway tracks and, the Department of Railways has decided to get such equipment and tools produced by the Lakdiwa Engineering Institute affiliated to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation by saving the money being incurred for importing the same. The Assistant General Manager of the Department of Railways Mr. Dammika Jayasundera expressed here that this move will help save a large amount of foreign exchange being incurred by the Department of Railways.
The Chairman of the Lakdiva Engineering Company Mr. Ravi Gunawardena expressed that “ My company that used to make a profit of Rs. 10 million per a month is now able to make a profit of Rs. 15 to 20 million. I highly honour the constant support and advice given by Hon. Nimal Siripala De Silva – The Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation for maximizing the profit. And also, all the employees are extending their fullest support to the administrative authority to maintain the institute profitably. Therefore, I am dedicated to make this institute the most profitable institute out of institutes under the purview of the Ministry in the future.
A large number of officers including Mr. Thilakaratne Bandara – Assistant Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation, Mr. Udaya Kumara – Assistant General manager of the Department of Railways and Mr. Ravi Gunawardene – Chairman of the Lakdiva Enginnering company graced the occasion.
Nimal Siripala De Silva – Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation states that action will be taken to employ civil security personnel at unguarded railway gates due to the strike of unguarded railway gate watches.
This was stated by the Minister at a discussion held on 2016.11.02 at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation with Police Officers, Heads of Civil Security Force, Representatives of the Department of Labour, Representatives of the General Treasury and Railway Officers including the General Manager of Railways.
The Minister further expressed here that there are 676 unguarded railway gates and 175 of gate watches (25%) are on strike. The Minister thanked the 75% of gate watches who are not on strike.
These gate watches originally joined the service as volunteers. Later, the police intervened to provide a monthly financial provision of Rs.22500 from the treasury to the residents by the unguarded gates to be employed at the gates. The Minister also said that such employees are not at all the employees of the Department of Railways and, there are no financial provisions to recruit them to the Department of Railways.
However, the Minister stated that there are committee recommendations to employ civil security personnel in the absence of unguarded gate watches in accordance with the recommendations of the Cabinet of Ministers on the issue concerned. And also, the Minister said that measures will be taken to establish automated electric signal systems for 200 unguarded gates within two years. And also, the Minister further said the users of these cross gates nowadays should pay extra attention for their safety.
The Minister expressed that he has no intention to cripple the strike and, this action was taken for the safety of the people.
The Minister also stated that “ we have advised the police to employ the unemployed or the civil security personnel of the respective areas if the strikers continue to strike.”
Officers of the Ministry including Hon Ashok Abesinghe – Hon. Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation and Mr. Nihal Soomaweera - Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation also took part in the occasion.
A sum of Rs. Eight million, two hundred and seventy two thousand collected by donations from the monthly salary of SLTB employees was awarded to 279 of SLTB fellow staff mates those who were affected by extreme weather conditions prevalent in April 2016 at a ceremony held at Shalika Hall in Narahenpita on 14.09.2016 under the patronage of Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva.
The Minister expressed on the occasion that a Cabinet Memorandum was submitted to import 250 of small buses for SLTB bus fleet and, 500 of engines will be imported for such buses under Indian Line of Credit. The Minister also said that 1000 of broken buses are planned to be repaired and deployed for passenger transportation. The Minister sought the fullest support of SLTB employees in this regard.
The Minister went on to say that the EPF problem of SLTB employees has already been sought out. Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva also expressed that plans have already been made to restructure the SLTB.
This ceremony was graced by a number of SLTB officers including the Chairman of SLTB Mr. Ramal Siriwardene.
According to a concept of H.E. the President, implementation of the North Western provincial programme of the bus operation programme according to a rotated time table was commenced from the city of Kurunegala.
Under the first phase of this, the inaugural programme of bus operation according to a rotated time table was held recently with the participation of invitees including Hon. Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mr. Ashok Abeysinghe, Western Provincial Transport Minister Hon. Gunadasa Dehigma, Western Provincial Minister, Managers of private and SLTB bus operations, and regional managers.
There, expressing his views, Hon. Deputy Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation stated that special measures were taken to increase the SLTB bus fleet, while actions are being taken to obtain 500 engines and 500 gear sets and preliminary actions are being taken to renovate 1000 buses.
General Public from Matale said to the Deputy Minister of Transport that a train was operated from Matale to Colombo until 2008, and this train is not operated by now and passengers who travel from Matale to Colombo fulfill their travelling needs by traveling from Matale to Kandy bound train and then moving to a Kandy to Colombo bound train.
Hon. Deputy Minister contacted General Manager of Railways through telephone as soon as he was informed regarding this matter and promised to provide a new train within one year and to provide a train which facilitate to travel from Matale to Colombo and when returning from Colombo to Kandy and then from Kandy to Matale ,within one month.
This event was graced by Member of Parliament State Minister of Agriculture Hon. Wasantha Aluvihare, Member of Parliament Hon. Kavirathna, other government officials, and many other public representatives.
The first phase of the annual process of providing financial relief for persons who were victimized by hit-and-run accidents during the year 2016 was held on 06.06.2016 under the patronage of Hon. Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Mr. Nimal Siripala De Silva at the ministry auditorium in Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla.
A financial grant of Rs. 40 lakhs was provided for 36 persons who were victimized and seriously injured by hit-and-run accidents. 111 hit-and-run accidents were taken place merely during the year 2015 and 113 persons died from these accidents. 72 persons out of them were granted financial relief during the last year.
National Council for Road Safety was established under the Ministry of Transport by the Motor Traffic Amendment Act Number 05 of 1998 under the theme of ‘Safe Roads for Everyone’, and this council consists of 17 government and non-government institutes.
Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Nihal Somaweera, Chairman of the National Council for Road Safety Mr. Sisira Kodagoda ,other officials ,and the members of the families of the victims participated in this occassion.
08 repaired SLTB buses of Kurunegala North depot have recently been put in to operation ceremonially under the patronage of Deputy Minister of Transport.
There, the minister stated that it is expected to repair many buses in all depots in Sri Lanka and put them in to operation again under this programme in due course.