Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today urged senior officials to not go back to the colonial- era practice of having railway employees working at their homes.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal today urged senior officials to not go back to the colonial- era practice of having railway employees working at their homes. Soon after taking over as minister, Goyal had instructed all the rail employees working at officers’ homes to return to their primary jobs. Officials say that around 10,000 Group-D railway employees, including gangmen and track men, have since been relieved from the houses of senior officers and put back into safety and maintenance work. Speaking at the 5th R K Vir Memorial Event here, Goyal said that times have changed and that the railways cannot forever live in the “colonial era of the British”. “Is our mind going to be more bothered about bungalow peons and linesmen that we can get to work in our homes? “…The first decision that I made, I hope it is being implemented. I hope its not gone back to the good old days,” he said. Turning to Ghanshyam Singh, a Railway Board member, the minister said, “I am talking about the 8000-10,000 people who worked in bungalows.” Singh said that the men had gone back to work “then and there”.
“It should be sustained, even when I am no longer the Rail Minister,” Goyal said. The facility of bungalow peons began during the British era, and was for officers who were posted in the field. However, over the years, the people who could employ a bungalow peon expanded to staff in the headquarters. Subsequently, this facility was expanded to include a large number of Railway Board officials. Many a time, these officers were treated as domestic helps and not railway staffers as they dealt with the family of the senior official they were attached to. “Are we doing justice to the people of India? Can we justify this…” said Goyal, urging the railway officials to do away with the practice completely.