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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Blog is the answer for my "Unsaid Thoughts"

1.Empowerment is non-existent. No officer from the lowest to the highest has any authority to take any decision that has a financial bearing. How can a bunch of powerless people bring a change or deliver efficiently is beyond my comprehension.

2.The entire system is based on mistrust. Every action requires a plethora of thumb impressions. There are inspections and monitoring galore. A request for support is met with by an advice on how to improve matters by more inspections and intensive monitoring. Matters are never accepted on their face value. Hidden intentions/interpretations are always assumed.

3.The decision making process is extremely complex. In fact it is much more complex than even state governments and central government ministries. Complex is actually a mild word.

4.Our contracting processes are also extremely complicated. Role of finance is debilitating in nature. We are increasingly ending up with unworkable low value contracts in all areas.

5.Our system of carrying out developmental works through the Works Program route is primitive, inefficient, illogical and cumbersome.

a.Nowhere else in the entire governmental system is there such a distinct and wide disparity between sanction and funds. Everywhere a sanction is followed up with release of funds. In railways sanction and release of funds are separate and unconnected exercises with the results that while projects are merrily sanctioned, funds are rarely given with the result that we have a massive shelf of sanctioned projects.

b.When a work is sanctioned, the executive has the authority of going through the work awarding process. In the absence of funds, we have ended up with a number of projects that are half complete. A scenario of locking funds without returns.

c.In the entire system, works valuing over 5 times the funds available are proposed year on year. Tremendous amount of wasted effort at all levels.

6.Our vigilance setup treats every violation of a rule or procedure or even minor deviation as a malafide with the result that no one has an inclination to take a tough decision that can have even a minutest element of risk. Delivery suffers badly in such a scenario.

7.The absence of a railway officer in the entire railway system has made matters worse. What we have are only departmental officers who never come out of the narrow confines of their departmental thinking. Nobody therefore watches/monitors the overall interest of the railways.

8.The existence of nine services where there is the need of only one is the crux of the problem. Tremendous fights/manipulation for top slots.

9. The organization also suffers from structure imbalances. Headquarters offices have only a negative role and therefore not required. Railway Board has more officers than all other central ministries put togethor. Too many brilliant brains with no work. What they can achieve is stoppage of work and that is what they all end up doing. The officer cadre should be radically downsized and railway structured on commercial lines.

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