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Indian Railways puts an end to VIP culture

Railways

New Delhi: As part of steps to end the VIP culture in India’s national transporter, the Railway Ministry has asked its senior staff to slug it out – at home and at work.

In an unprecedented move, the ministry has brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol where it was mandatory for general managers to present themselves on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairman and other board members during zonal visits.

As part of a massive overhaul of the culture of privilege prevalent in the ministry, the Railway Board has decided to do away with the instructions of 1981 circular that mandated such protocol.

In an order on September 28, the ministry said that the instructions and guidelines issued to the railways regarding the protocol to be observed at airports and railway stations during the visit of the Railway Board chairman and other board members stand withdrawn with immediate effect.

Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani said no official will entertain bouquets and gifts at any time.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also asked senior officials to give up travelling in cosy saloons and executive class travel privileges and start travelling in Sleeper and AC Three-tier classes, mingling with other passengers.

These include members of the Railway Board, general managers of railway zones and divisional railway managers in each of the 50 divisions.

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