Indian Railways News

Indian Railways News

Railways Set To End Colonial-Era “Khalasi” System, Stops New Appointments

The railways is set to end a colonial-era practice of appointing “khalasis” or ”bungalow peons” who worked at the residences of senior officials, following an order from the Railway Board barring any new appointment to the post.

In an order issued on Thursday, the Railway Board has said the issue regarding telephone attendant-cum-dak khalasis (TADKs) is under review.

“The issue regarding the appointment of TADK is under review in Railway Board. It has, therefore, been decided that any appointment of fresh face substitutes as TADK should not either be processed or made with immediate effect.

“Further, all cases approved for such appointments since 1st July 2020 may be reviewed and position advised to Board. This may be complied with strictly in all Railway establishments,” the order said.

After joining the railways as temporary staff, TADKs become Group D staff following a screening process after a period of around three years.

In the earlier days, officers posted in remote areas or working in the field during odd hours would be provided a TADK to ensure security for the family as well as do odd official work like attend to phone calls or ferry files.

These TADK staff would usually become ticket examiners, porters, mechanics for air-conditioned coaches and cooks in the running room.

However, over the years, the role was relegated to that of domestic help and then to office peons, officials said.

Amid complaints of abuse and ill treatment, the railways had ordered a review of the post and in 2014, formed a joint secretary-level committee of nine members of the Railway Board to review the policy.

TADK staff members, who have a minimum educational qualification of up to Class 8, are paid around  20,000 toRs 22,000 per month and given benefits akin to Group D staff of the railways.

290 Passengers Rescued From 2 Stranded Trains In Mumbai

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) rescued 290 passengers from two local trains stranded on flooded tracks between the CSMT and Sandhurst Road station on Wednesday, said a Central Railway spokesperson.

The city was battered by incessant rain during the day.

Two local trains — one heading in the direction of Karjat in the north and another heading for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in south Mumbai — came to a standstill in chest-high water around 4 pm.

The joint operation was over at 10 pm with all the passengers were rescued, said railway spokesperson Shivaji Sutar.

While the NDRF rescued 39 passengers using inflated boats, the RPF rescued 251 passengers, he said.

At Masjid station, the water was above the platform level and it was impossible for the stranded passengers to get down and walk because of the drainage channels along the tracks, he said.

Both Central and Western lines witnessed heavy water-logging on tracks due to heavy rains.

Early in the morning, Western Railway services were badly hit due to waterlogging between Virar and Dahanu.

New Airport, Swanky Station – Ayodhya Has Blueprint Ready For Big Upgrade

The groundbreaking ceremony for the proposed Ram temple at the Ram Janambhoomi site in Ayodhya will take place today amid hopes of a better future following massive upgrade plans that involve a brand new airport and a glitzy railway station. The Uttar Pradesh government has announced a number of development and beautification projects in the temple town, with a budget of more than Rs 500 crore.

There are plans to promote Ayodhya as a big religious tourism destination. The government is expecting huge footfall by 2024, when the long-awaited Ram temple is expected to be completed.

The advance planning includes not only a new airport and railway station, but also an upgrade of the nearby highway and local tourist spots.

As of now, Ayodhya has an airstrip for the use of VIPs. But the government has announced that it will be converted into an airport. Not much has happened since the announcement made two years ago. The government is still in the process of land acquisition.

The national highway upgrade has a budget of Rs 250 crore. The water supply project will also be upgraded which has a budget of Rs 54 crore. Rs 7 crore has been earmarked for the bus station and an equal amount for the police barracks.

Rs 16 crore has been set aside for the modernisation of the Tulsi Smarak. The local Rajshri Dasrath Medical College will also be upgraded, for which 134 crore has been allotted.

Despite dominating politics in north India for decades, Ayodhya had been a sleepy little town, where the young people demanded development.

“We have moved on from mandir-masjid,” students at the Saket College, Ayodhya’s most prestigious educational institution, had said ahead of the 2017 state elections.

“Where are the jobs, the factories,” they asked, claiming that the BJP’s development mantra has passed Ayodhya by.

According to government figures, between 2003 and 2012, the number of industrial units in Ayodhya-Faizabad area went up by just 50 — from 377 to 426.

In November 2018, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had announced grand plans for an airport and a medical college. There were plans to build a Ramayan circuit by the river Saryu that passes through the town.