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Parliamentary panel favours `readjustment' in zonal railways

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Nov. 4

THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, which plans to submit its recommendation to the UPA Government by the end of December, has strongly favoured "some readjustments" in operations of the Zonal Railways.

Mr Basudeb Acharia, Chairman of the committee, told presspersons here on Thursday that "a complete undoing of the reorganisation carried out by the previous NDA Government was ruled out. But, for correction of certain operational anomalies, the committee will suggest re-adjustments of activity areas".

Declining to reveal further details, Mr Acharia said the committee has reviewed the "reorganisation", which rendered some of the zones "unviable".

The decision for reorganisation was based more on "political considerations" rather than on operational economics, said Mr Acharia, who is the floor leader of CPI (M) in the Lok Sabha.

He mentioned that the committee has discovered a "scandal" relating to tendering of the sleepers. "CBI has already begun investigation into the alleged irregularities, which caused Rs 400 crore loss to the Railways", he said.

A deviation from the open tendering procedure and distribution of alleged favours through `limited tendering' was behind such irregularities, Mr Acharia added.

Apart from a reorganisation of the Zonal Railways, the committee would also place its suggestions on passenger amenities and safety measures.

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