Ashwani Lohani, the Railway Board Chairman, in a bid to change Indian Railways work culture has asked all railway DRMs, GMs and PHODs to take leadership in ensuring “immaculate conduct”, Financial Express Online learns. Lohani has noted that several supervisors and staff tell him about officers who address them as “tu” or “tum” and not “aap”. Calling this “undignified behaviour”, Lohani has asked DRMs, GMs and PHODs to make sure that “cultured behaviour” prevails when dealing with subordinates. “Let us build a very cultured organization and immaculate conduct. Please provide leadership on this front too,” Lohani has requested in a message sent by him.
This is not the first time that Ashwani Lohani has asked for a change in the work culture of Indian Railways. Within hours of joining as Chairman of Railway Board in August 2017, Lohani had promised to end “VIP culture” in Indian Railways. Lohani had spoken of the need for bringing a “working culture” in Indian Railways. He also ended the 36-year old VIP protocol that was offered to Railway Board members. Earlier it was compulsory for railway General Managers to be present when the Chairman of Railway Board or other Railway Board members arrive or depart when visiting zonal railways.
Lohani, however admits that the act of changing the work culture in an organisation as big as Indian Railways takes time. Recently, after TV reports, four railway officials had been suspended for employing railway trackmen as domestic help. Lohani had said that the organisation is committed to bring work culture reforms. “In an organisation of 1.3 million employees, this takes time and stray cases cannot be totally eliminated,” Lohani had admitted adding that such instances have come down.
Railway Union chiefs too have admitted that cases of seniors employing junior staff have dropped, especially after Chairman Railway Board’s instructions.