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Better rail offices soon

Patna, Aug. 22: Railway employees can look forward to better workstations and proper office environment.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed concern over the poor condition of the Indian Railways and come up with a few suggestions. Based on these suggestions, cabinet secretary Ajit Seth recently wrote to the Railway Board chairman Arunendra Kumar to improve the work environment.

The letter talks of maintaining hygiene and cleanliness at the workspace and creating a better work environment. It also talks of doing away with archaic rules that have become redundant.

“We circulated copies of the letter among zonal offices and catering agencies and are now receiving report from the zones regarding the steps they are taking according to the directives of the letter,” a Railway Board member said.

Sharing reasons for the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) issuing such a directive, a senior official said: “The Indian Railway is one of the largest rail networks in the world and there is a lot of expectation by the people. However, the Prime Minister was not happy with the work culture and environment, especially in its offices. During the meeting, he emphasised on making things easier and friendly so that employees could deliver efficiently in the best environment.”

The letter states that all buildings of the railways should be spick and span. Inside the offices too, files and papers should be neatly stacked to create a positive work environment. It also mentions that decision-making layers should be reduced to minimum. Effective and timely resolution of public grievances must be ensured and monitored by secretaries of the departments concerned. Each department should work out modalities to fulfil promises made to the people.

In response to the letter, East Central Railway (ECR) deputy general manager Ajit Kumar Jha said: “A weekly action-taken report would be sent to the board at the ECR general manager level. We have got the 10-point suggestions, stressing on improved work culture and environment.”

On steps being taken in the response to the letter, Jha said: “I do not have the details available with me right now but steps are in according to the letter in which the Prime Minister has given his suggestions to the Railway Board.”

Reacting to the steps being taken by the PMO to improve working conditions in the railways, ECR employee union president S.K. Pandey said: “Finally, there is someone who is thinking about us. Earlier, all the attention used to be given to passenger facilities.”