Railway's new worry: filling top vacancies | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Railway's new worry: filling top vacancies

Railway Ministry officials have a predictable subject for discussions these days: The continued vacancy of top posts.

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2011 23:01 IST
Srinand Jha

Railway Ministry officials have a predictable subject for discussions these days: The continued vacancy of top posts.

The Railway Board has not had a full-time Member Traffic (MT) for the past nine months, while the crucial post of finance commissioner will also be falling vacant on March 31.

Certain railway zones including the Western Zone are also headless, with appointments to the critical posts of general managers having remained pending. Certain public sector undertakings are also said to be headless.

The Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) — which oversees implementation of India’s most ambitious infrastructure project — has also remained without a full-time managing director since October last year, when the then incumbent VK Kaul was ignominiously sacked on charges of corruption.

A railways select committee has shortlisted some candidates, but a final decision on appointing the corporation's managing director remains to be taken.

Some crucial posts have been kept under additional charge. Additional member Samar Jha, for example, has been overseeing responsibilities as finance commissioner. After his retirement in December last, he was given an extension of three months.

Similarly, Secretary, Railway Board VK Gupta has continued to hold charge as Advisor (Land and Amenities).

"There have been aberrations in the promotion policy in the past, but decisions for not filling up critical top posts like the MT's post defy logic", remarked an official.

Sections of officers believe they have been given the short shrift by being denied their

promotional opportunities. One senior official, for example, recently obtained a court order to buttress his claim for promotion to the rank of a general manager.

Meanwhile, there arerumours that chairman, Railway Board Vivek Sahai — scheduled to retire in June — might get a one-year extension. Such speculations, incidentally, have been causing consternation in official circles.

Sections of officials feel that in the event of an extension being granted to Sahai, he could well be expected to continue to hold additional charge as Member (Traffic) for one more year — blocking promotional prospects down the line.