Decentralise the powers for increasing Railway Revenue and Customer satisfaction
The Technical Department should be merged and kept maximum in two streams only
For an honest and effective effort, Railway need to understand the biggest handicap in the execution of policies and any plan which could be beneficial for the overall interest of the Nation
Indian Railways need to seriously review the justification of having so many departments/castes as it is proving to be the biggest hurdle in achieving organizational goal. The minimum department will result in maximum focusing on the qualitative outcome of organizational goal in the best interest of the Nation. It has become worst in recent past and as individual cadre, we have become worst than syndicates and unions. We are pursuing goals of our individual cadre and not of Indian Railway. Until and unless this is not neutralized it will be very difficult to achieve positive goals/target through railway in a sustainable manner. The justification of Personnel and Stores department including RPF and Accounts in their present role needs to be reviewed and restructured.
The role of Personnel, Stores and RPF Establishment of each functional department should be with concerned department only. This will make the manpower planning focused and result oriented and will settle the grievance of administration and staffs equally. Branch officers are the best judge to plan their future requirements and take care of grievances of their staffs. Earlier the branch officers of functional departments used to be Sr.DPOs and CPOs.
At present with the creation of a separate department for the establishment is proving to be a curtain between the staffs and concerned branch officers and as officers looking after establishment does not feel the pain and problem of concerned functional branches emanating out of huge vacancies.
The procrastinating approach to address the burning issues of functional branches by Personnel department is their complete lack of working experience of the functional department like Mechanical, Traffic, Civil Engineering, S&T and Electrical.
At present, the Personnel department main role is union centric rather than administration centric. Bringing back establishment to the functional branch will give positive movement and satisfaction to the system.
The technical department should be merged
The technical department should be merged and kept maximum in two streams (1. Civil Engineering + S&T and 2. Mechanical + Electrical) and non-technical departments like Personnel, Accounts and Traffic should be merged in a single department. This department will manage its own store and purchase.
Purchase should be given to officers with absolute power
Purchase of items/requirement should be given to officers with absolute power as per SOP with the only rider that quality and performance should be the best and any deviation on these two parameters will draw direct action against the concerned officer. Going to accounts and stores department should be done away with.
RPF must be brought under the administrative control of DRMs/GMs
RPF is thriving on the railway and it is letting thrive all illegal activities on Indian Railway. With the spread of RPF and its nuisance, all illegal activities are spreading like anything, e.g. unauthorized vending, touting, seat/berth selling, scrap etc. Like other branch officers they must be brought under the absolute administrative control of DRMs and GMs and their transfer should be done by General Manager on the recommendation of the three-member committee as it is being done in the case of officers of other branches.
Give more financial freedom to administrative officers
In order to give more financial freedom to administrative officer and in the advent of restructuring branch officer post should be made of SAG level assisted by a sufficient number of Junior Administrative Grade (JAG), Senior Scale and Assistant Scale officers. It should be like commissionerate system (DRM) where DMs (SAG branch officers with a team of their officers) are performing in a specialized manner and reporting to DRM. This is also logical in the advent of appointment of JAG Station Directors as having Branch Offices of the same level is incongruous with the existing administrative structure of Railway and is bound to create problems vis-a-vis Branch Officers and Station Directors which will ultimately affect the working of Railways.
Supervisors should be strictly debarred being a union member
All Supervisors should be strictly debarred being a union office bearer/member or indulging in any kind of union activity. The separate recognition must be given to their Association/Federation like others given at Railway Board level.
Mandatory without fail transfer of staffs and officers after four years from one place to another place in accordance with CVC guidelines. No need should be there for taking union clearance in those cases.
Full powers to branch officer to outsource a particular activity in consultation with DRM in the best interest of Railway.
Old and become corrupt CRS System should be scrapped
It is suggested that IIT's should be tied with few zones and the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) System should be abolished and in case of an accident inquiry, the team of designated IT should conduct the inquiry and Submit the report.
The IT projects of modernization should be given top priority and adequate fund.
Full powers and protection be given to commercial officer
Full powers and protection to commercial branch officer should be given for implementation of innovative ideas to increase the revenue and level of Services including to contain corruption and to bring transparency.
The complexity of leasing policy should be done away
The complexity of leasing policy should be done away and CPS should be empowered to award the temporary lease (e.g. 1 to 3 days), ACM (up to 30 days), DCM (up to 3 months), Sr. DCM (up to 6 months), ADRM (up to 9 months) and DRM (up to 1 year) in a single day on the market rates or last successful rates at his own discretion.
A pilot project of the same may be launched for a period of two years to see the impact. These two years performance and activities must be insulated from any audit and vigilance check except analyzing its pure impact on the growth of revenue and customer's satisfaction.
Complete Outsourcing of parcel activity should be done
Let us take an example of Delhi station which gives the earning (including lease, non-leased and luggage) of Rs. 6 crores per month from the parcel. The whole parcel activity can be outsourced through bidding and certainly, it would be more than Rs. 6 crores very easily. Even if we are getting Rs. 6 crores with the conditionality that party will develop modern/automated parcel facility on its own, that will be a win-win situation for the railway.
The contract may be awarded for minimum 10-15 years with provision of escalation @ minimum 10% per annum from 5 years onwards. Party will have all freedom which railway administration has at present in case of parcel traffic e.g. utilization of SLR and its compts, attachment of regular VP or additional VPs as per availability of room and requirements etc.
What railway is spending on salary and facilities of staff will be a saving in itself, and the redundant staff can be utilized in other functions of the commercial department (booking, ticket checking). Moreover, the huge investment required to improve the parcel infrastructure at Railway stations in order to modernize and mechanize it will also be a saving. And what we will get through bidding will be pure earning through parcel traffic.
The entire top-to-toe activity to be outsourced (automated) is the only way to maximise the earning and to provide World class facility and service to the customer within minimum time.
1. The policy decision to be taken and policy should be short, simple, unambiguous and clear.
2. Based upon policy Expression of Interest (EOI) to be called within 30 days.
3. Based upon EOI, the pre-bid conference should be called for in next 15 days.
4. Suggestions given in the pre-bid conference should be included in the RFP documents.
5. The bid should be invited in next 30 days and the bid should be finalized in the next 30.
6. The party should be given 12-18 months time for completion of infrastructure, logistics, modernization, mechanization and automatization work.
Outsourcing would be a long-term and viable solution
The parcel activity all over Delhi division is handicapped with infrastructural shortage/problems and outdated system, manpower shortage, policy-related limitations, poor quality of manpower, highly politicised and unionized atmosphere etc. New investment from railway side will be huge and less futile keeping in view the continuous dwindling number of parcel staff (Class-lll & IV) and its present problems. Hence outsourcing would be a long-term and viable solution.
This exercise will not only provide a truly world-class parcel activity in the capital of India but also emancipate Delhi from woes of air pollution and traffic congestion.
Without exception periodical transfer of all staffs must be done
Without any exception periodical transfer of all staffs, who have completed 4 years in the parcel, must be done and effected on the ground. Shifting from parcel to booking/goods and booking/goods to parcel should be made mandatory in the periodical transfer. This will also help in developing a better workforce and multitask skilled staffs.
Demand VP for commercial purposes should be banned immediately.
Full powers for Automation in the office working to streamline and reduce duplicity and improvement of infrastructure up to Rs. 20 lakh.
Young officers with service span of 15-20 years should be made DRM
Experiment like putting few young officers with a variety of experience with service span of 15-20 years should be made DRM of divisions and the performance should be compared vis-a-vis other DRMs. In case, if the experiment proves to be satisfactory then it can be made practice.
Full powers to branch officers for development works of Goods Shed
Full powers to branch officers for development works of Goods shed on PPP model and outsourcing the goods shed activity. By this within three years, infrastructure at goods shed can be made World class and revenue can be increased considerably without spending a penny from the railway.
For a remarkable innovation and increase in revenue and level of services, concerned staff or officer should be recognized either through promotion or something (like one grade higher pass facility) which truly inspires other staff to emulate the same.