100 days on, CR GM post still lies vacant; experts slam delay
The delay even as the monsoon is underway has been criticised by experts, officials and politicians, as lakhs of people use CR services daily.Updated: Sep 09, 2019 01:03 IST
It has been 100 days since DK Sharma retired as general manager (GM) of Central Railway (CR) on May 31, but the Railway Board is yet to name his successor. The delay even as the monsoon is underway has been criticised by experts, officials and politicians, as lakhs of people use CR services daily.
After Sharma’s stint, Western Railway’s (WR) general manager AK Gupta has been discharging all the responsibilities of the position as an additional charge. Sharma is currently heading the Maha Mumbai Metro Operation Corporation Limited (MMMOCL). According to railway officials, the panel for appointment of GM was formed long ago but it is yet to decide the successor. Officials said they are unable to understand the delay behind the appointment of such a crucial post.
In the ongoing monsoon season, CR operations have been affected badly due to floods, landslides and other incidents. The suburban operation was paralysed at least four times. The most recent instance was on Wednesday when CR suburban services were affected for more than 18 hours. In the past three months, CR also witnessed several serious mishaps like derailment of Gorakhpur-bound Antyodaya Express on a viaduct in Kasara Ghat and back-to-back derailments of goods and passenger trains in Khandala Ghat. “Having a full-time GM makes a lot of difference in day-to-day operations and decision-making process,” said an official requesting anonymity.
Experts also slammed the delay in naming a new GM for CR. “As CR is an important artery of Mumbai and MMR it is disastrous to keep such an important post vacant during a crucial period of monsoon when there are major disruptions due to heavy rainfall,” said AV Shenoy, transport expert.
Rahul Shewale, Shiv Sena MP from south central constituency, said he has been demanding for the past two months that the post be filled and had taken up the matter with Union railway minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday when he was in Mumbai. “The WR GM is holding additional charge of the post, but he is unable to pay full attention to CR,” Shewale said.
Shrikant Shinde, Shiv Sena MP from Thane, said, “It is a very important post for day-to-day functioning of CR, which affects lakhs of commuters. Obviously, it has to be filled immediately.”