In a major relief to passengers travelling by Indian railways, the government has decided to do away with the old urinals and replace them with bio toilets by 2020-21.
“While 17,338 existing toilets in trains have been replaced with bio-toilets till date, our aim is to equip the entire coaching fleet with bio-toilets,” a senior Railway Ministry official involved with the project said.
Under the government’s Swachh Rail – Swachh Bharat’ programme, the Railways has set the target to fit 17,000 bio-toilets in long-distance trains. It is also planning to fit the bio-toilets in new coaches by 2015-16 and the retrofitting of existing coaches will continue.
The new-age green toilets have been designed by Railways along with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) keeping in mind the requirements of Indian trains.
Two new key appointments in the Indian Railways have come under the scanner as the officers selected for these senior positions don’t seem to meet the hiring rules.
In one case, the ministry ignored the mandatory cooling-off period required between two tenures, and in another, an officer was promoted so that he could just meet the requirements for the new post.
The officers who were left out are planning to approach Railways Minister Piyush Goyal to lodge a complaint.
The Railways Ministry in an order on April 1, 2019 said that Navin Kumar, Senior Administrative Grade/Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers, should be posted as Executive Director (Establishment) on return from deputation to the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL).
He was selected following a vacancy notice in February this year which required a mandatory three years cooling-off period between two tenures.
Navin Kumar does not seem to meet this criteria given that he was sent to the NHSRCL in August 2017 for a period of six months or until further orders, according to a Railway Board order.
In the other case, Mahendra Kumar Gupta was posted as Executive Director, Pay Commission-II in the Railway Board.
The vacancy for this post had required the applying officer to be in Senior Administrative Grade but clearly Gupta did not meet this criteria at the time of application.
“Shri Mahendra Kumar Gupta, IRPS, Railway Board should be promoted to Senior Administrative Grade and posted as Executive Director, Pay Commission-II, Railway Board,” the railway ministry order dated April 16, 2019 said.
An IANS query on the issue sent on Monday (April 29) remained unanswered despite repeated requests for a response.
Many railway officers now complain that they were deprived of opportunity to apply for the posts. They argue that the ministry should not have put the conditions if they had to be bypassed or waived.
“Our only grievance is that we were not given fair chance,” said an aggrieved officer. (IANS)