NEW DELHI: Ending the 36-year-old protocol of Indian Railways, Railway Board has withdrawn the tradition whereby it was mandatory for railway General Managers to be personally present on arrival and departure of Chairman Railway Board and other railway board members during visits to zonal railways.
The decision by Chairman Railway Board Ashwani Lohani is a move to end the VIP culture in railways and bring working culture.
“The instructions and guidelines issued to the railways regarding protocol to be observed at the airport and railway stations during the visits of Chairman Railway Board and other board members stand withdrawn with immediate effect,” said the directive issued on September 28.
Several directives issued since 1981 had emphasized that the practice of GMs be present in person during arrivals and departure of railway board members and Chairman be rigidly followed as it provides an opportunity for personal discussion on an important matter pertaining to railways.
“We will change VIP culture and bring working culture in Indian Railways,” Lohani had said after taking over on August 25.
He had also insisted that he dislikes unnecessary protocols and doesn’t want entire branch office to be present to meet him or senior officials during the visit to zonal railways or Public sector undertakings. Also on the list was cutting down unnecessary expenditure, especially on frills such as bouquets.
Lohani during interactions with railway staff had emphasized on the need to ensure transparency in work and warned that corruption will not be tolerated at any level. He also spoke at length about how railway officials should move around in the field.
During his tenure as CMD Air India, he had scrapped privilege provided to airline staff and directed the staff to carry their hand baggage on their own and not use porters as has been the practice so far.