NEW DELHI: Holding that Railways officers are generally averse to new ideas fearing being hauled up, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has asked them to go beyond rules and regulations in the overall interest of increasing business of the public transporter.
On Monaday, Lohani told all General Managers that Indian Railways is a commercial organisation that needs to operate within the confines of laid down rules and procedures. “However, many of the processes and policies designed by us lack a liberal thought process and therefore constrain delivery with the result that often we are unable to get the best results,” he said.
“I have also noticed that our officers are generally averse to pursuing new thoughts or experiments that are not covered within the confines of any policy documents issues by Railways.”
“This again is out of fear and kills progressive thinking and innovation and should not continue. The field officers need to be encouraged to proactively pursue new ideas, experiments and proposals and take them to a logical conclusion, if they are not explicitly restricted by any of the existing policies,” he added.
Calling the behaviour of Railways officers unacceptable, Lohani said that during the course of working, situations arise wherein despite knowing fully that going beyond the gamut of stipulations laid down in existing policies can lead to major gains for the railways, officials are unable to do so for the fear of being hauled up.
“This is not an acceptable scenario especially in a commercial environment where every likely future situation cannot be forecast or assessed in advance. Our policies have to be flexible and adaptable to the situation on the ground, besides generally being in the form of the guidelines that are not cast in stone,”
The Railway Board chairman cited discussions he held awith variostakeholders and said that often impractical stipulations have emerged in various railway policies. He also suggested that such officers should be protected and need not be penalised. “It would be incumbent upon us to protect such officers and not view every such deviation with suspicion,” he said.