17 Mar : In a drive to check corruption and bring in transparency in its administration, Indian Railways has ordered departmental action against more than 8,500 officers for their alleged involvement in various fraudulent practices.
The data updated till November 2008 shows that in 25,845 drives carried out by the Vigilance Directorate of the Railway Board, 8,638 officers including 117 gazetted ones, were booked for various charges including making of traffic undercharges and fraudulent payment to staff.
There are about 13,000 gazetted officers and nearly eight lakh non-gazetted officers in the world’s largest employer which has a total strength of 14 lakh approximately.
Of the staff booked for fraudulent practices, a maximum number of them 1,403 including 1,395 non-gazetted and eight gazetted officers were from South Western Railway, followed by 1,334 in Northern Railway, 760 in Southern Railway and 728 in North Eastern Railway zone.
"The Vigilance department carries out regular checks to bring in transparency and accountability in administration. It will intensify its drive in the coming months to check leakage of revenue," a senior ministry official said.
Railways has realised Rs 79.88 crore from its drives during the said period.In another development, the Railway Ministry has identified 10 sectors as thrust areas for intensive vigilance, to monitor misuse of various concessions, implementation of various schemes to boost traffic and checking in general coaches to detect fraud in the unreserved tickets.
"Railways, in line with the instructions of Ministry of Home Affairs, every year prepare two lists Agreed and Secret list as a measure to combat corruption and to keep a watch on the officials whose integrity is suspected," the official said.
The Agreed List, prepared in consultation with CBI, includes names of officers whose integrity are doubtful.
While, the Secret List are of those officers of doubtful integrity on the basis of accepted inquiry reports or proved charges of corruption.
"Persons in Agreed and Secret List are not assigned any sensitive posts and their working is kept under constant surveillance," he said.