Vacancies in Railway Board and Zonal Railways to be filled only after CVC clearance

Officers getting CVC clearances will be handed charge against the vacant posts in the Railway Board. The new arrangements will shortly be made – Mallikarjun Kharge, Railways Minister

Even as railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge reiterated on Friday that filling up top posts was high on his list of priorities, the public transporter is heading for a situation of having a headless and a much curtailed Railway Board from July 1.  Of a total of seven members, the Railways will have just three full-time members from Monday. Of these three, Member (Electrical) Kulbhushan has been named as an accused by the CBI in its Preliminary Enquiry (PE).  While posts of Member (Traffic) and Member (Staff) at Railway Board have been lying vacant for nearly two months, the posts of Chairman Railway Board and Financial Commissioner will also fall vacant on June 30.

At present, Mahesh Kumar, who became Railway Board Member (Staff) two months back, is in jail following his arrest in the alleged cash-for-post scam.

Besides the Board vacancies, there will be five vacancies of General Managers on July 1. Vacancies in South East Central Railway, Western Railway and Central Railway already exist. There will be two more vacancies in South Eastern Railway, Kolkata, and Integral Coach Factory, Perambur on June 30.

Asked whether the new Chairman Railway Board will take over before June 31, Kharge said, “whatever arrangements will be made, it will be done only after the retirement and immediately the next day, also stating that the Railways have sent names to the Cabinet Committee on Appointment for filling up these senior posts, “Whoever gets CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) clearances, those members will be given charge accordingly,” Kharge said.

Apart from Board Members and General Managers, 21 new DRMs (Divisional Railway Managers) will also be selected in July.

However, as the Railways have not obtained the Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) approvals for filling up the vacancies, these positions will remain vacant for some more time.  The Railways were required to have forwarded a panel of names for ACC approval three months in advance to the date of vacancy. By oversight or by design, this did not happen.  “The process was further delayed because the Railways sought vigilance clearances in installments – forwarding a list of five names; followed by two other lists to the CVC,” sources said