Even as railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge reiterated on Friday that filling up top posts was high on his list of priorities, the public transporter is heading for a situation of having a headless and a much curtailed Railway Board from July 1.
Of a total of seven members, the Railways will have just three full-time members from Monday. Of these three, member (electrical) Kulbhushan has been named as an accused by the CBI in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE).
Friday was the last working day for both chairman Railway board Vinay Mittal and finance commissioner Vijaya Kanth, who complete their terms on June 30.
Other posts including that of member (staff) — held by now suspended member Mahesh Kumar — and that of member (traffic) are also vacant.
As the Railways have not obtained the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approvals for filling up the vacancies, these positions will remain vacant for some more time.
The Railways were required to have forwarded a panel of names for ACC approval three months in advance to the date of vacancy. By oversight or by design, this did not happen.
“The process was further delayed because the Railways sought vigilance clearances in installments — forwarding a list of five names; followed by two other lists to the CVC,” sources said.