Thursday, April 3, 2014

Refreshing advice from CRB

. Dinesh Varma

 
Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board inspecting the amenities at Chennai Central Railway Station on Tuesday.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
Arunendra Kumar, Chairman, Railway Board inspecting the amenities at Chennai Central Railway Station on Tuesday.— Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam
: Arunendra Kumar, chairman, Railway Board (CRB), may be helming the world’s fourth largest railroad network and biggest employer, but during his extensive interactions over two days with a cross-section of junior administrative officers of Southern Railway, his advice was more about maintaining good work-life balance than about improving operational efficiency of the loss-making behemoth.
A few “J’ grade officers who participated in meetings with the CRB said that they could scarcely believe their ears when Mr. Kumar steered clear of the usual management-speak, and, instead urged them to ensure that they spent quality time with their family. The CRB, in fact, wanted supervisor officers to be more liberal in not only availing leave for themselves to spend time with the family but also in granting leave to their juniors.
“His approach was refreshingly different…quite unlike that of any of his predecessors,” said a mid-level officer who listened to an address by Mr. Kumar at the Integral Coach Factory on Monday.
According to sources, the CRB also seemed to be addressing red-tapism in the Railways when he suggested that different departments should stop functioning within walls. Any matter that was discussed in a cordial atmosphere instead of the usual bureaucratic mode had a better chance of being resolved quickly, was his reasoning.
Mr. Kumar also advocated cordial labour relations, urging managements to engage more with trade unions and the latter to reciprocate constructively.
On Tuesday, the CRB carried out a quick inspection of the passenger amenities at Chennai Central and MMC suburban stations, the quality of bed-rolls at the linen factory and the Integrated Security System at Central. He told officials to frame a plan for developing the frontage, bus-bay and taxi-stands at Chennai Central. Mr. Kumar told newsmen that adequate fire safety measures were being undertaken by the Railways to prevent fire-related train mishaps. He also wanted the travelling public to cooperate by not carrying inflammable materials.
“His approach was refreshingly different…quite unlike that of any of his predecessors”

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