Sunday, October 30, 2016

CHHANDOSREE


Ranchi, Oct. 25: South Eastern Railway authorities have decided to shunt the senior divisional operations manager of Ranchi railway division after a high-level inquiry found that he had indeed used his clout to stop the New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express at an unscheduled station to allow his daughter on board last week.

A.K. Goel, general manager of South Eastern Railway, told this correspondent over phone today that they had taken "strong exception" to the three-minute episode, reported in The Telegraph on October 21, when the high-profile train was rerouted and halted at Muri junction, 60km from Ranchi.

"The railway has decided to shift M.R. Acharya from the (Ranchi) division and depute another officer in his place. The new posting for Acharya has not been decided so far," Goel said, adding that an inquiry set up by the Railway Board had found the senior divisional operations manager guilty.

Acharya could not be contacted today. His mobile phone remained switched off.

SER general manager Goel refused to comment on if any other official or employee would face action.

However, sources in Ranchi railway division indicated that showcause notices might be served to at least four more persons for dereliction of duty.

On October 20, the 22824 express to Bhubaneswar was not just halted at Muri, but also rerouted from yard tracks meant for galloping trains to tracks along Platform 3.

According to the railway timetable, the Rajdhani left Bokaro after 7.35am and the next stop was Tatanagar at 10.35am. But, the train made its unscheduled halt at 8.30am.

Stationmaster of Muri M.S. Khan had said he went by orders of his seniors to help a woman board the train in the morning. By evening, however, Khan changed his statement to say that he did not escort anyone and was merely checking to see why the train had stopped.

Acharya too had denied involvement, saying his daughter had boarded the train from Bokaro.

A senior divisional officer in Ranchi, on the condition of anonymity, said Acharya was under SER scanner for more than one reason.

"Not very long ago (September 11), a goods train had collided with a track cleaning machine near Simdega in which the loco pilot and his assistant driver were killed. Fellow drivers had blamed unauthorised movement of the machine on the tracks and delayed accident relief for the deaths. Although the senior operations manager was given a clean chit in a hurried probe, people still blame him for the fatal mishap," the officer said.

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