HO Quota In Indian Railways
Monitoring the release of HO quota
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
QUESTION NO 118
ANSWERED ON 15.12.2017
Monitoring the release of HO quota
118 Smt. Kahkashan Perween
Dr. Anil Kumar Sahani
Will the Minister of RAILWAYS be pleased to state :-
(a) whether VIP references for release of HO quota to the Minister of Railways/Railways/Zones are not being given priority in recent times;
(b) if so, whether complaints/representations from Members of Parliament have been regularly received against officials of MR Cell for deliberate, biased and irregularities in treatment of VIP references;
(c) if so, the details thereof and action taken thereon;
(d) whether there is an urgent need for monitoring of release of HO quota through CCTV cameras at all Railways Board/HQ/Divisions to ensure transparency; and
(e) if so, the steps taken by Government in this regard?
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
(SHRI RAJEN GOHAIN)
(a) to (e): A Statement is laid on the Table of the House.
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PARTS (a) TO (e) OF UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 118 BY SHRIMATI KAHKASHAN PERWEEN AND DR. ANIL KUMAR SAHANI ANSWERED IN RAJYA SABHA ON 15.12.2017 REGARDING MONITORING THE RELEASE OF HO QUOTA.
(a) to (c): In order to meet the urgent travel requirements of High Official Requisition (HOR) holders, which includes Central Government Ministers, Judges of Hon’ble Supreme Court/High Courts of various States, Members of Parliament and other emergent demands, who are on the waiting list, a limited number of berths have been earmarked as Emergency Quota in different trains and in different classes. The quota is released by the Railways in accordance with the priority as per warrant of precedence and well established practice being followed since long. At the time of allotment of berths/seats, emergency quota is first allotted for self travel of HOR holders/Members of Parliament, etc., strictly as per their inter-se seniority in warrant of precedence. Thereafter, other requisitions received from various quarters including that from Members of Parliament are considered and the remaining quota is released taking into account various factors like status of passengers travelling, nature of urgency like travelling on government duty, bereavement in the family, sickness, job interview, etc. While the requests received from Hon’ble Members of Parliament for their self travel are complied with, in case of requests forwarded by them for other than self travel, at times, it is not feasible to accommodate all such requests when the demand exceeds the availability.
Since Emergency Quota is released by nominated officers/staff by following the prescribed procedure as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, the complaints/representations from Members of Parliament are not received regularly against officials for deliberate, biased and irregularities in treatment of VIP references. However, during peak rush periods like Diwali, Chhatth, Christmas vacations, Holi, summer vacations, when the demand exceeds availability, sometimes, it is not possible to meet all the demands from Hon’ble Members of Parliament and other VIPs, and few complaints are received. One such complaint has been received from one of the Hon’ble Members of Parliament who has raised the question for non release of Emergency Quota by this office. The request was duly forwarded to the concerned Zonal Railway i.e. East Central Railway. The Railway could not provide accommodation on account of availability of limited berths/seats under Emergency Quota on the said train. However, instructions have been issued to Zonal Railway to be more cautious while allotting the berths/seats out of Emergency Quota and accord due priority to the requests received from Hon’ble Members of Parliament. As far as staff handling release of Emergency Quota is concerned, it is informed that the officials whose integrity is beyond doubt and have an excellent track record are entrusted with this responsibility. In case any mishandling is noticed, immediate action, as deemed fit, is initiated. Periodical transfer/rotation of staff is also undertaken in order to prevent development of any vested interest.
(d) & (e): Emergency Quota is released by nominated officer keeping in view the extant guidelines. For keeping a check on the misuse of emergency quota, checks are conducted by Commercial Directorate and sometimes in association with Vigilance Directorate so that malpractices do not creep in. If any specific complaint regarding misuse of this quota is brought to the notice, necessary action is taken as per extant rules after looking into the complaint. As such no proposal is under consideration to provide CCTV for monitoring the release of Emergency Quota at various levels.