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Railway Board revamp will bring down walls: Official

Mamuni Das New Delhi | Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

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The decision to have a unified railway management service will bring down the invisible walls in railway bureaucracy, according to Indian Railways (IR) officials who support the decision to revamp the Railway Board.

“Subconsciously, Railway Board members protected the interests of the respective departments they came from,” an official told BusinessLine. He maintained that this is a board-trimming and cadre-merger exercise that will help the organisation.

This is something that has been recommended by multiple committees. The proposed board will not decide on day-to-day matters. “At present, the Railway Board has a Chairman and nine members (including Secretary). It will be reduced to Chairman and CEO plus four board members,” said the official.

For instance, the Member-Infrastructure will have officials from civil, electrical and signalling reporting to him. Similarly, the Member-Traffic will become a post for all operations with business development officials reporting to him.

“Theoretically, all the board member posts will be open for officers from all departments. But the appointment will have to be done judiciously and not in a capricious manner,” said the official, adding that these will be codified in the alternative mechanism to be finalised by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) and the Railways.

The few supporters of the reorganisation felt that railway officers should not be impacted, as the transition will be planned in such a manner that their career prospects are protected.

“For now, the Cabinet has approved entry to Railways through the UPSC-Civil Services route,” the official said, adding that going forward, the recruitment process will have to be specially designed to ensure the intake of specialists for different engineering and non-engineering streams. The Board, which will have external Members, will ensure there are “independent views”, as the Railways is perceived to be “insulated”, said the official.

Published on December 26, 2019
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