NEW DELHI: The Railways Ministry has decided to shift the office of Chief Project Director (CPD), Railway Electrification from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru. An order to this effect was issued by the Railway Board on Wednesday.
As per the Board order, the projects operated by Bhubaneswar unit will be closed after March 31 and manpower either repatriated or transferred to other projects.
The order that has the potential to turn into a political issue comes days after creation of South Coast Railway (SCoR) at Visakhapatnam by bifurcating East Coast Railway (ECoR). It says that the existing workload of Bhubaneswar office of CPD, Railway Electrification (RE) will be transferred to Danapur unit.
The Bhubaneswar RE unit was established in 1996 and is independent of ECoR. It is part of Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE), manned by a General Manager ranked officer at Allahabad. The decision to shut down the Bhubaneswar unit may affect temporary staff while specialised personnel will be repatriated to their original units or shifted to Bengaluru.
That’s not all, Railway Board has also decided to shut down the Kolkata RE office along with Bhubaneswar by March 31 and transfer existing workload of railway electrification unit at Secunderabad to Madras (Chennai) with immediate effect. Interestingly, though Secunderabad unit may be allowed to operate when bigger contracts are awarded, there is no such plan for Bhubaneswar.
Established in 1996, the CPD, Bhubaneswar successfully handled the double decker electrification of 40-km Jakhapura-Daitari section in 2008 and was declared a model unit. It was also recently adjudged as best project office for completion of several projects on time.
The decision to move the railway establishment from Odisha to Karnataka has raised many eyebrows even as the model code of conduct is in force.
However, Indian Railways sources said such re-structuring is routine work. The decision to close the Bhubaneswar office was taken since all the major electrification projects are now handled by the ECoR’s Construction wing while RVNL also executes much of the work. Insiders say the move behind closing the office could be aimed at benefitting RVNL.