DELHI: Taking stock of the series of derailments this month, the draft report of a committee set up by Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu recommends that divisional railway managers (DRMs) be more empowered to take decisions, particularly in emergencies.
The committee, ‘Making Divisions as Strategic Business Units’, was constituted by Prabhu in June to finalise a process by which more financial and executive powers are delegated to DRMs so they are able to handle day-to-day operations more effectively, reports PTI.
It is expected to submit its final report to the minister next month, a senior official told PTI.
A DRM heads the organisation at the division level and is primarily involved with the running of trains, customer interface and maintenance of railway assets.
According to the draft report, accessed by PTI, DRMs should be fully empowered to grant blocks — stopping or diverting trains till work on the tracks is over — for up to three hours.
“No questions should be asked on regulation of trains for maintenance blocks,” the committee has recommended.
The three-hour time frame has been suggested, sources said, to ensure that the block does not effect running of trains on other connected divisions.
The suggestion from the committee headed by Director General, Personnel, comes days after the Kalinga Utkal Express derailment in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on August 19 in which 23 people were killed. The DRM of the Northern Division was among those sent on leave.
“The committee is working to enable DRMs to concentrate more on safety, customer satisfaction, transportation business, customer interface, generation of revenue, operation and maintenance of assets.
“We are also working to see that they are relieved of procedural rigmaroles,” an official in the ministry said.