Lack of funds, Chennai railway division withholds staff allowance
CHENNAI: Railway employees in Chennai division were shocked last month when they submitted their applications for claiming allowances as usual.
Employees at various branch units of the railway division, which is the largest in the 80,000-employee strong Southern Railway (SR) zone, were told by their bosses that allowance would not be credited to their account for January due to lack of funds.
The divisional operation and commercial department confirmed the reason for withholding allowances for night duty and national holiday attendance. The division employees disclosed to DT Next that the divisional personnel department informed the branch units not to credit allowances along with the salary.
A note circulated by a branch unit head of one of the coaching depots in the divisional headquarters on February 28 (copy available with DT Next) said, “As per Sr DPO/MAS, statement NDA & NHA not credited in salary due to funds not available.”
A railway officer privy to the development revealed that the department allocates funds under different heads like operation, safety, maintenance, stores and employee benefits. “The division might have either exhausted or diverted the funds under the head meant for disbursal of allowances,” the officer said, and admitted to employees being intimated of temporary non-payment of allowances for January due to fund shortage.
When asked, B Guganesan, chief public relation officer of Southern Railway, said, “Last month, they could not pay allowances due to technical reasons. Whatever is due (for January) will be paid along with February month’s salary. Unless the railway board issues instructions on withholding of allowances, which is a policy decision, nothing can be withheld at the zonal or divisional level. The division faced no fund shortage. It was a case of bills not being processed due to technical issues. It will be disbursed along with February month’s salary.”
Chennai: Anant Madhukar Chowdhary, a 1987 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE), has taken over as Commissioner of Railway, Safety, Southern Circle, Bengaluru. He will look after Railway Safety of Southern Railway, Southwestern Railway, Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation, Chennai Metro Rail and Kochi Metro. AM Chowdhary started his career in Southern Railway and held various posts in the field of electrification, electric locomotives and general administration. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Railway Safety, he was the CRS of Southeastern circle.
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