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Do You Travel by Mumbai Western Railway Line? Your Life May be at Risk as Key Workers are Bunking Job

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: May 21, 2022, 11:32 IST

New Delhi

All of the personnel who are bunking work are 'Track maintainers IV,' who are assigned to emergency maintenance on railway rails (Representative image: Shutterstock)

All of the personnel who are bunking work are 'Track maintainers IV,' who are assigned to emergency maintenance on railway rails (Representative image: Shutterstock)

According to a report, a 'proxy scam' has been discovered by the vigilance department, where employees on track maintenance duty forge their attendance for a mere Rs 500 each day

Are the lives of those travelling the Mumbai Western Railway line under threat? This is the question which comes to mind after a report on a ‘proxy racket’ being carried out by track maintenance employees on the WR, who are responsible for taking care of emergency work at railway tracks.

According to a report by Mid Day, the vigilance department of the Western Railways has recently discovered a proxy scheme. While their employees are on long vacations, a few top authorities in charge of track maintenance work on WR are keeping marking their attendance. Officials said the lives of thousands of passengers was being endangered for a bribe of Rs 500 every day.

The vigilance department caught four employees — Manjay Kumar, Munna Kumar, Ranjeet Kumar, and Ramdhir Kumar — whose attendance was being marked while they were in their respective native places for 15-20 days during the investigation. Senior officials handling the scam, according to sources quoted in the report, accepted a daily bribe of Rs 500 from each worker.

Forged Attendance Register Found, Workers Were in Bihar

All of the personnel who are bunking work are ‘Track maintainers IV,’ who are assigned to emergency maintenance on railway rails. The report said that according to sources, their absence from work could result in accidents or derailment if the rails are defective. Last Monday, the vigilance agency searched the Western Railway’s Senior Section Engineer (P.WAY) office in Andheri after receiving a tip. Surprisingly, the vigilance department discovered that personnel on unauthorised leave purchased their tickets using the railway pass, sources said in the report.

Mumbai Chief Vigilance Inspector Mayur Kensali and his colleagues discovered a forged attendance sheet that marked workers present on days they were not at work. Arvind Kumar, the department’s senior in-charge, is also under investigation, as everyone found to be involved in the scam worked for him. Track maintenance is handled by around 350 staff at the Andheri office. The employees who were bunking were located in Bihar, according to the investigation. All of the people whose names have been revealed so far have confessed, sources were quoted as saying.

‘Bunkers Should Get Strictest Punishment’

“A few days back, the vigilance department raided our office and found a few people who had marked the proxy. All the workers work under Arvind Kumar, an officer at our office. We are also conducting a departmental inquiry into this matter. It is a serious issue. People working on track maintenance should be present on the job. The vigilance department will take action,” Vivek Pawar, the officer in charge of the Senior Section Engineer (P.WAY) office of Western Railway in Andheri told Mid Day.

“This is a serious issue and I will meet the general secretary of the railway and enquire about this matter. The culprits should get punishment and officers involved in this bunking scam should get the strictest punishment,” RG Kabar, general secretary of Western Railway Mazdoor Sangh was quoted as saying. Western Railway officials said the vigilance department has conducted a preliminary investigation into this case.

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first published:May 21, 2022, 11:32 IST
last updated:May 21, 2022, 11:32 IST