New Railways Minister C P Joshi,who took charge Monday,has a difficult task at hand. Even as the Railways appointment process is under the CBI scanner following the arrest of Member (Staff),Railway Board,Mahesh Kumar,around 25 high-level appointments are awaiting clearance.
Apart from Member (Traffic) and Member (Staff),Joshi will also have to appoint three general managers for Central,Western and South East Central Railways. The posts of Additional Member (Traffic) and Additional Member (Information Technology) at the Railway Board are also vacant.
Around 20 Divisional Railway Managers (ex-cadre posts) have to be appointed by the Railway Board the list was being finalised in the last two months. Sources said under the current circumstances,the process may start afresh.
The crucial post of Member (Traffic),a cadre post of the Indian Railways Traffic Service,is vacant despite two general managers,Devi Prasad Pande of South Central Railways and Sunil Varan Arya of West Central Railways,being available as the senior-most eligible officers for the post. Pande is tipped to take over since he has two years of service left,but his appointment is yet to be processed. At present,Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal holds additional charge as Member (Traffic).
In the case of the DRMs,the Railway Board is not in a hurry as the officers are not set to retire soon. However,the delay is affecting the career progression of senior officers.
Joshi said he would carry out his task with honesty and transparency. I will try to improve the trust deficit prevailing among the staff. I will carry out all my responsibilities honestly and in a transparent manner.
Joshi earlier held Railways portfolio for a month in September as additional charge,before the Congress gave it to Pawan Kumar Bansal.