Unauthorised occupants: SECR Nagpur Divn admin sitting pretty over menace

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Apr 2018 08:54:40


By Sagar Mohod

A probe by admin reveals sub-letting of railway quarters causing loss to the exchequer but yet to take any action

The whistle-blower alleges violation of norms by senior officers

Administration at Nagpur Division of South East Central Railway (SECR) was rattled after the Railway Board forwarded a reference about irregularities made to it. An anonymous complaint was made to Chairman Railway Board (CRB) Ashwani Kumar Lohani pointing out instances of blatant violation of norms. The complaint, as per information, has in detail referred to practice of sub-letting of railway quarters to outsiders. The charge was specific in nature, and attached a list of quarters in Punjabi Lines and Bellyshop colonies located in Nagpur City, that were occupied by outsiders. Both railway colonies are off Kamptee Road, and it was accused that officials in lower rung are indulging in unacceptable practices by allowing use of the colonies. The unauthorised use of railway quarters is a loss to exchequer and hints at deeper malice in the administration that too is hand-in-glove, the complaint claimed in a letter to CRB, the sources said.

The whistle-blower also levelled some serious allegations against functioning of some senior officers in the division, who, he claimed, were aiding and abetting illegal acts of junior officers by patronising such elements.Subsequent to the complaint, CRB forwarded the document to divisional headquarters for reference. This was during the first week of March. The direct reference from Board put the divisional administration in a tight spot. An inquiry was ordered and as usual entrusted to Railway Protection Force (RPF), the internal wing of the railways. The intelligence wing of the RPF's divisional unit made discreet inquiries into the complaint and found it to be true as to sub-letting of the quarters.

RPF, it is learnt, to have submitted its findings to higher-ups in administration. The intelligence report also listed the names of officials, especially those from Engineering Department, who were reportedly facilitating outsiders in railway quarters. Names of employees from department other than Engineering also surfaced during the inquiry and entire report was submitted to divisional headquarters.However, as to personal allegations against top officials, the RPF inquiry concluded that they are unfounded and wild in nature, the sources added. When ‘The Hitavada’ contacted Sr. Divisional Commercial Manager (Sr. DCM) Arjun Sibbal for a comment on the matter, he declined. Asked further about sub-letting issue and inaction against officials named by RPF, the Sr. DCM directed queries towards Divisional Railway Manager (DRM).

Goons ruling the roost

At Punjabi Lines there are about 150 railway quarters, most of them of Type-I category which, however, today has no takers. Now, most of them are being merged and converted into Type-II. A number of these quarters have outsiders who are dutifully paying rent and the same is being pocketed by lower rung personnel of railways. Another railway colony about whom there was a complaint to the Board was Bellyshop which has 500 to 600 quarters. They have all types of quarters and the colony is a hot bed of criminals whose writ runs rather than that of railways.

One Ganesh Kotulwar, an alleged history-sheeter, is known to reside illegally in the Bellyshop Railway Colony and indulges in all sort of illegal activities. Though the fact is known to the administration, no one has dared to act against it so far, the sources said. The SECR’s Nagpur Division has other two colonies in city, one is Motibagh which mostly has multi-storey buildings, maximum Ground+2, and other one is Ajni. The quarters in Ajni are maximum in demand after that of Mount Road and both colonies are well maintained and hence employees prefer to live there. In the past, a massive crackdown was ordered in Raipur on railway colony to evict unauthorised occupants. Similar action was expected in Nagpur post-reference to the Board, but till date division officials are sitting pretty, the sources added.