A zonal railway has withdrawn a recent policy order, which sought to deploy bungalow peons for officers through contractual manpower, after the Railway Ministry intervened and clarified that zones cannot do so.
The Odisha-based East Coast Railway had issued a policy order earlier this month that said if options of appointing bungalow peons from available staff strength does not work out, the railway can outsource the job by hiring manpower on contract to work at the homes of officers.
This came a month after the Railway Ministry issued the new central policy governing engagement of Telephone Attendant cum Dak Khalasi (TADK) or bungalow peons. It said that bungalow peons are to be appointed from available railway staff in Level 1 category and officers could no longer recruit fresh candidates. This effectively put a stop on the 100-year-old policy of bungalow peons, officers said, citing the fact that it is not feasible to take Level-1 (Group D) staff from existing departments and deploy them at homes, considering there is hardly any manpower to spare.
In the earlier system, officers could choose to engage anyone to work as TADK and after three years, the TADK was formally absorbed as a Railway employee following due processes.
However, TADK continues to be an entitlement and, according to officials, at least 30 officers in East Coast Railways are currently waiting for a policy clarity to deploy bungalow peons at their homes. Several such cases are across all zonal railways. The now-withdrawn order, issued with the approval of the zonal General Manager, came in that context.