Railway Board must take action to allay the fear of staff on premature retirement – Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra

| July 31, 2019 | Reply

Railway Board, vide their letter referred to above at S.No.(i), have issued instructions to the General Managers of the Indian Railways and Production Units, including the Director Generals of RDSO, Lucknow and National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara etc. pursuant to DoP&T’s O.M. cited above at S.No.(ii)……

No.AIRF/24(C) Dated: July 30, 2019

The Chairman,
Railway Board,
New Delhi

Dear Sir,

Sub: Strengthening of Administration – Premature Retirement of Railway Servants – Periodical Review Under Rules 1802(A)/1803(A)/1804(A) – R.II, 1987 Edition – Regarding

Ref.: (i) Jt. Director, Estt.(P&A), Railway Board’s letter No.E(P&A)I-2015/RT-38(Pt.2) dated 09.07.2019

(ii)DoP&T’s O.M. No.25013/3/2019-Estt.A-IV dated 20.06.2019

Railway Board, vide their letter referred to above at S.No.(i), have issued instructions to the General Managers of the Indian Railways and Production Units, including the Director Generals of RDSO, Lucknow and National Academy of Indian Railways, Vadodara etc. pursuant to DoP&T’s O.M. cited above at S.No.(ii).

We understand that, this is a regular exercise for which provisions are already available Under Rules 1802(A)/1803(A)/1804(A) – R.II, 1987 Edition. Railway Board had also issued similar instructions vide their letter dated 10.11.2015 on the above cited subject, however, this time it appears that, there is deep sense of panic created among a large group of Railway Employees who are either attaining the age of 55 years or completed 30 years’ Qualifying Service.

All are aware that the Indian Railways are running around 22,000 pairs of trains per day, carrying more than two-and-a-half crore passengers and a substantially high volume of freight traffic. This is only possible with dedicated and sincere services rendered by the Railway employees, the number of whom has drastically reduced over the years despite tremendous increase in the workload with addition of new trains, new railway lines, stations and other installations during this period. It is only because of their dedication and sincere efforts that the wheel of the Indian Railways are moving in a hassle-free manner in all weathers, and even under arduous conditions round-the-clock, which is ultimately a tool of progress of our country.

It is also a well-established fact that the Railwaymen, to the tune of 400-600, sacrifice their lives while performing their duties every year, and this figure is even higher than the number of Armed Force Personnel.

It is quite unfortunate that, with the issuance of aforementioned instructions of the Railway Board, there is a propaganda, being launched by some unfair elements, that, the Indian Railways is going to retire around three lakh Railway employees, following this process. This, we understand, may be a false propaganda, but is certainly demoralizing the Railway employees and creating a sense of insecurity among them. We find that, there is persistently increasing murmuring among the Railway employees, who are definitely afraid of invocation of this process.

It may also be appreciated that, this provision gives absolute power to Railway Administration to prematurely retire an employee on the ground of his/her ineffectiveness or doubtful integrity without any substantial proof thereof. There is no beyond doubt criteria prescribed so as to check misuse of this provision by the officers against a person who is not liked by them due to personal reasons. Although, it has been mentioned in 2nd para of Railway Board’s letter under reference that, it should be ensured that, the prescribed procedure, like framing of opinion to retire a Railway employee prematurely in public interest, is strictly adhered to, and that the decision is not an arbitrary one, and is not based on the collateral grounds as per orders of Hon’ble Supreme Court, however, there appears to be no specific checklist to assess ineffectiveness or doubtful integrity of a Railway employee, proposed to be retired prematurely under this process. It seems quite illogical that, on the one hand Railways is utilizing services of the Retired Railwaymen, on the other, wants to retire its serving workforce, who are quite vulnerable, because of more than two lakh fifty thousand vacancies.

Since there is complete industrial peace, prevailing in the Indian Railways for the last so many decades, and the Railwaymen are well-known for their hardworking with sincerity and dedication, invocation of this type of arbitrary procedure, for prematurely retiring a Railway Servant, would definitely create discontentment, resentment and unrest among the Railwaymen. This may also endanger the safety of train operation, because they would be working with a uncalled for fear of invocation of this process on them, without any substantial aground/reason.

AIRF, therefore, sincerely hope that, the Railway Administration will take all the necessary steps immediately to allay the fear from the minds of the Railwaymen, so that, they could work without any stress and strain in a fearless environment to run the Indian Railways with more enthusiasm, zeal and dedication.

An early action in this regard shall be highly appreciated.

Copy to: Director General(Pers.), Railway Board – for necessary action please.

Copy to: Executive Director, Estt.(IR), Railway Board – for necessary action please.

Copy to: P.S. to Hon’ble Minister for Railways – for necessary action please.

Copy to: General Secretaries, all affiliated unions – for information.

Category: AIRF, Trade Union Activities

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