Sabari Rail Project – Railways stand on evictees kicks up a row

Kochi: Though the Railways has initiated measures as per the Government Order of 2010, to process job applications of the evictees in connection with its various projects, its inability to furnish details on who will head the procedure has kicked up a fresh row.

sabari_rail_656093eSeveral schemes, including the Sabari Rail project and doubling works have come to a standstill as the Railways is yet to abide by the clause in the Government Order that any member of the from the family of evictees should be given employment.

Though an RTI query reveals that 59 such applications were forwarded to the Chief Personal Officer (CPO), Chennai, the authorities’ stance, both at the Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram divisions, remains that they have been unaware of the issue.

When Express contacted Swaminathan, CPO, Chennai, he said he had no information about the issue, and he was not in-charge of the scheme. Surprisingly, the officials at the Thiruvananthapuram division also could not provide any details on whether the applications had been forwarded to Chennai or Thiruvananthapuram.

When asked about the CPO’s response, Dani Thomas, Chief Administrative Officer( CAO), Kerala, said that as there were no clear-cut instructions earlier, the applications were forwarded to the CPO.

“Now it has been forwarded to the Divisional Railway Manager,” he said. The DRM was not available to comment. Ironically, the Railways also provided contradictory information in the two RTIs filed.

In the first one, it said that no measures has been initiated to abide by the Government Order 2010 whereas in the second it said that 59 job applications had been forwarded to the CPO.

For the Sabari Project, land has been acquired till Mulanthuruthy. But as the Railways did not grant the promised employment to the evictees till Mulanthuruthy, the others backed out from giving away their land which has put the project in jeopardy.