BENGALURU: It has been a few weeks since Bengaluru’s first Station Director assumed office. The post, created by the Railway Board in just 12 stations in the country presently, is aimed at transforming A-1 railway stations into centres of excellence.
Seated temporarily in the Station Manager’s room at the Krantiveera Sangoli Rayanna railway station, Santhosh Hegde, a 2010 batch Indian Railway Traffic Service official, spoke to Express about ‘this highly challenging job.’
Prompt grievance redressal of passengers will be the primary goal of this junior-level administrative officer.
Put simply, the Director will have a team drawn from the Civil, Electrical, Mechanical,Signalling and Telecommunication departments.
Explaining how it could improve service, Hegde said, “Normally, if a passenger has a complaint like say a light bulb not working in a retiring room, this is conveyed to the person in-charge at the station. He in turn relays it to the concerned department head and they need to assign the job to a staff member. The process of finally setting right the issue takes some time.”
The creation of a team exclusively for the purpose, will ensure accountability and a much quicker redressal of issues, he added. An interesting new role assigned to a station-in-charge is that of raising non-fare revenue through advertisements and other commercial ventures.
Cash imprest will be made available by the Railways to all Station Directors to enable execution of tasks at the station. “This will help in attending to grievances immediately. Getting money sanctioned even for small things follows a process in Railways and this could also be done away with,” Hegde said. The new Director’s experience has largely been in the Operations Department of the Freight section in Hubballi Railway Division.
However, it will be interesting to watch if the new position would end up creating friction with heads of various railway departments as staff need to be picked from there and the role is suddenly thrust by the
Ministry across various Railway Divisions.
Apart from KSR, the stations where the Station Directors have been posted are Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Mumbai Central (in Mumbai); Delhi and New Delhi (in Delhi); Secunderabad, Chennai Central, Howrah, Sealdah, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.
The station manager is role becomes redundant now and the official has been given other roles. By December 30, 2016, all the remaining 63 A-1 category railway stations in the country will be having Station Directors.