Cadre Control/Manpower Management of Mechanical and Electrical Staff involved in Diesel and Electric Loco Maintenance and Operation and EMU/MEMU/Trainset, Coaches TL/AC Maintenance and Operation.

No.AIRF/24(C)                                                                                                      Dated: 30th April, 2019

The Chairman,

Railway Board,

New Delhi

Dear Sir,

Sub: Cadre Control/Manpower Management of Mechanical and Electrical Staff involved in Diesel and Electric Loco Maintenance and Operation and EMU/MEMU/Trainset, Coaches TL/AC Maintenance and Operation

Ref.: (i) Railway Board’s letter No.2016/O&M/8/1(Office Order No.58 of 2016) dated 03.08.2016 and Railways Board’s subsequent letters No.2018/O&M/8/1 dated 23.03.2018, 02.04.2018 and 01.05.2018

       (ii)   AIRF’s letter No.AIRF/59-A dated 15 May, 2018 and discussions held on 28-29 March, 2019 during AIRF’s PNM Meeting with the Railway Board

AIRF vide its letter supra dated 15 May, 2018 has written to Railway Board (CRB) on this subject and has requested for withdrawal of these instructions, but it is quite unfortunate that, no action has been taken. Instead, stress and emphasis has been for implementation. AIRF has emphasized withdrawal of these colonial/draconian orders without further delay. AIRF has also discussed this item in its PNM Meeting with the Railway Board on 28-29 March, 2019, where all the General Secretaries from Indian Railways in one voice have demanded withdrawal of these instructions.

Indian Railways is highly specialized government organization working and visible all across the length and breadth of Nation. Technology infusion at all stages has been pillars of success for Indian Railways, as development vehicle of the Nation. To meet challenges of technologies, number of disciplines have evolved, required to manage these technologies, economically and effectively at all stages. Major considerations have been to indigenize, optimize these new technologies at all levels, based on domain knowledge, experience and expertise. Keeping pace with the world, specialization has become more intense in all fields i.e., Electrical, Mechanical, Medical, Signaling and Telecommunication etc. Indian Railway also adopted this intense approach for specialization in all fields and continued to reap fruits of this wisdom at all times.     

Mechanical and Electrical disciplines were evolved in over 100 years, to meet with these change in technologies, specialized systems and equipments, and developed expertise, experience and domain knowledge, from grass root level in field to management level at all times, since inception of Indian Railways. Accordingly,

  • Member Electrical in-charge of Electrical discipline, evolved to deal with EMU, MEMU, Trainsets, Electric Locos, and Traction Installations. AC & TL of Coaches and Static Electrical Installations, EIG functions as per law of the land.
  • Member Mechanical Incharge of Mechanical discipline, evolved to deal with Wagon’s, Coaches, Diesel locos, DMU, Production units of coaches and Diesel Locos, Bio fuel research organization, services in trains etc.,

In addition, other disciplines, like Medical, Personnel, Security, Material management, Signaling and Telecommunication etc. were also evolved. These disciplines have developed requisite expertise, experience and domain knowledge in all levels of management and field up to grass root level in the span over 100 years, to deal with these new technologies, specialized systems and equipment and to take Railways forward, as a ‘Nation’s Development Vehicle’. This approach and disciplines evolved ensured maximum asset utilization, asset performance and indigenization. Indian railway kept pace with the developed world.

Suddenly draconian order No.58 of 2016 dated 03.08.2016 and subsequent letter have been issued without due diligence and consultation with the federations by ambitious individual, mainly to have personal gains. He re-designated Member Electrical as Member Traction and Member Mechanical as Member Rolling Stock, and changed their roles and responsibilities as follows, in most artificial manner, ignoring expertise, experience and domain knowledge gained over 100 years.

  • Member Traction(Earlier Member Electrical) to deal with Electric locos, Diesel Locos, Traction installations, static power installations concerned production unit.
  • Member Rolling Stock(Earlier Member Mechanical) to deal with EMU, MEMU, Trainset, TL and AC of Coaches(Earlier with Member Electrical), Wagons, Coaches and concerned production units, services on trains and Bio fuel research.

This draconian order created chaos and severely affected moral, skill development, supervision, promotion and involvement of staff at all levels. This resulted into sharp decline in the performance of EMU, MEMU, Trainsets, Diesel Loco maintenance and AC/TL in Coaches. And this also brought miseries to the hardworking, devoted and proud staff of Indian Railways. In fact this criss-cross management model resulted into ‘FAILED MANAGEMENT MODEL’ of world’s largest system, in following ways:-

  1. This order takes Railways to ‘Generalization’, totally ignoring specialization, expertise, experience and domain knowledge developed over 100 years, backbone of Indian Railways. This is dooming Indian Railways & ‘Nation’s Development vehicle’.
  1. Electrical Systems i.e. EMU, MEMU, Trainsets, Metro, TL & AC of coaches were successfully introduced in Railways by Electrical Engineers. These assets were developed, maintained, operated indigenized in past 100 years by Electrical Engineers, having experience, expertise and domain knowledge. Mechanical Engineers do not have experience, expertise and domain Knowledge of these Electric system and technologies.


  1. Electrical Systems i.e. EMU, MEMU, Trainets, TL & AC of Coaches, works on 25 kv Traction Systems. EIG inspection as per ‘Electricity Act’ is to be done at every stage of production, maintenance, operation and Indigenization, by Electrical Engineers. Electric Engineers are only qualified, as per law and have 100 years’ experience, expertise and domain knowledge, to effectively manage these assets and ensure public safety. In fact as per law 25 Kv High Voltage installations are to be managed only by Electrical Engineers.
  1. Metro’s, which are similar to EMU, MEMU and Trainsets. These assets including AC/TL are being produced, maintained and operated by Electrical Engineers. There is no Mechanical Engineer’s, as they don’t have Expertise, Experience and Domain Knowledge.
  1. Order 58 of 2016, envisaged not to disturb the field level organization in divisions and upto SAG level in Zonal Railways and similarly upto ED level in Railways Board. Contrary to these instructions, changes have been / are being made to transfer activities from Electrical to Mechanical disciplines at Divisional, Zonal and Board Level, leading to chaos in the organization, which is resulting into Sharp deterioration of Performance and Safety. Infusions of New technologies have sharp decline.


  1. Domain knowledge, expertise and experience gained over 100 years are going as waste, which no organization can afford, particularly Indian Railways. Solid foundation of Indian Railways have been built on specialization which has withstood test of time over 100 years.


  1. Responsibility to implement the provisions of “Electricity Act” and CEA regulations (through which IE Act is enforced) lies with Chief EIG of Indian Railways. Chief EIG exercises these powers through Chief Electrical Engineers and their authorised representatives i.e., staff and field officers, throughout Indian Railways every day, in areas of production, maintenance, operations and constructions of electricity based assets and systems. No other authority can interfere in discharging these EIG functions, as it is statutory requirement as per law of land and pertains to public safety.


  1. Now, Chief Electrical Engineer has no authorised representatives in staff and field managers to carry out EIG functions in the present set up on daily basis in production, maintenance, operations and constructions of electricity based assets and systems like EMU, MEMU, Trainsets, TL&AC of coaches. Thus, this unilateral administrative order 58 of 2016 prohibits discharge of statutory EIG functions and law of the land. Hence, this unilateral order 58 of 2016 is ULTRA VIRUS & INFACTIUS. Hence cannot be implemented.


  1. Over the years, recruitment in Electrical discipline has been done keeping in view of Electrification and covering, EMU’S, MEMU’S, Trainset’s, and Metro’s etc. Systems in country. Board’s letter 58 of 2016 is going to create an imbalance in Cadre structuring and optimal utilization of staff and officers according to skill, experience, expertise staff and domain knowledge.

These ultra virus and infactius order No.58 of 2016 and subsequent orders, contemplating changes in the Cadre Control/Manpower Management of Mechanical and Electric Cadre and Staff, has created utter confusion and Chaos at all levels up to grass root level, including managers. Some of the implication for appreciation are:-

  1. All these changes are being contemplated at the behest of Bibek Debroy Committee’s recommendations, which have been strongly opposed by this federation (AIRF), being impractical , counterproductive, and full of contradictions. The committee has expressed the necessity of specialization and also recommends simple grouping of different functional verticals. Simple grouping of different verticals is also contravention to law of land and  ‘provisions of Electricity Act’, CEA regulations, Codal Provisions and international practices. Number of committees, like Rakesh Mohan, Tandon Committee, have recommended generalization on the face of specialization and rightly these recommendations were not considered worthy of implementation.

      In the Diesel Locomotive, majority of parts and components are Mechanical, while Traction Motor other Auxiliary Motors are electrical parts. Diesel Locomotive Sheds therefore had been under the control of the PCME at Headquarter level and Sr. DME(Diesel) at the Divisional Level, who possess, proper academic qualification of Mechanical Engineer Discipline and are, therefore, competent to handle these works. Group ‘C’ staff as well as inducted in Diesel Sheds, have desired qualification in Mechanical Engineer discipline. On the other hand, EMU/MEMU/TL/AC were being headed by the Electrical Engineer officers and majority of staff  in EMU/MEMU Sheds having desired qualification in Electric Engineering Discipline.’II’, Group ‘C’ staff of Electrical Department are being mandatorily issued competency Certificate by a Designated Electric Engineer, as they have to work on 110-750 Volt electricity in Coaches and 25 KV in EMU/MEMU/Metro/Trainset etc. Electrical Officer, designated as Electrical Engineer required to issue Competency to the Staff as per Indian Electricity Act.

  1. EMU/MEMU/Metro/Trainset/TL/AC Staff brought under Mechanical Engineer has created chaos, as their Mechanical Engineering Department cannot issue Competency Certificate, to them, which is mandatorily safety requirement to maintain these Electrical assets safety and reliably.
  • These arbitrary draconian orders, contemplating changes in the Cadre Control/Manpower Management of Mechanical and Electric Staff, and managers has created utter confusion and problems, and chaos in the field. Their career progression of group ‘C’ staff, not only to supervisory level, but also to Group ‘B’, have been adversely effected. Staff working in EMU/MEMU/Metro/Trainset/TL/AC, are having Electrical Education qualification as well as Training in Electrical Technology, whereas those working in Diesel Sheds are appointed with suitable Mechanical Education qualification, followed by training in Mechanical Technology. The staff belonging to Electrical Wing would, therefore, find it difficult to complete in any respect with Mechanical Wing and vise versa. This has resulted into lowest staff motivation, efficiency, productivity and moral. Same thing is happing to Managers. Indian Railways and Country is suffering because of this Draconian, whimsical order by an ambitious individual.


  1. Vande Bharat Express, air-conditioned EMU specifications were made by PS&EMU directorate of RDSO in 2012 and upgraded in 2015. Sanction of this was processed by EDEE/G, Railway board. In spite of this, involvement of PS&EMU directorate of RDSO and EDEE/G Railway Board has been dispensed with. Even in the field, PCME, Northern Railway ensured that there is no involvement of electrical officers in the field. In Railway Board, EDEE/G’s role has been replaced by EDME/ Coaching through arbitrary and illegal office order dated 24th of August 2017 and hurriedly created a Trainset directorate in RDSO without any approval of the concerned Member – Member Traction. Incidentally, Trainset directorate has no expertise, experience and domain knowledge of train set even now. This has resulted into irregularities in procurement, deficiencies in design and product is highly inferior, at very high cost, as follows:-

(i)     Due procedure of preparation and approval of specifications for the target product was not followed at all, thus defying the established procedures of Indian Railway.

(ii)    The major subsystems such as Traction propulsion system, Traction drives, Traction motors and other electrical systems are required to be purchased as per RDSO’s approved specifications. But this was not done at all. Further, this system was never procured for speed of 160 km/hr. In fact a suburban system is being used for mainline 160 kmph operations, which is not in the fitness of things and will lead to failures in future.

(iii)   As per RDSO’s specifications, Indian Railway’s test protocol, complete propulsion system, Traction drive and other electrical systems are to be tested on “TEST DRIVE” complete in all respects. RDSO has to witness these TYPE TEST for days together, covering all aspects of TYPE TEST to ensure reliability, System worthiness, performance, safety norms etc. But this very crucial and important protocol was totally ignored. PS&EMU Directorate of RDSO was kept in total isolation. This is in spite of the fact that it is under MRS. This is a clear cut sign of mistrust generated because of OO 58 of 2016.


(iv)   Not only this, this train is now being maintained at Shakur Basti  diesel shed which has no infrastructure, experience, expertise and domain knowledge to maintain electric train set. On the other hand, Ghaziabad EMU shed has all the infrastructure and trained manpower, experience, expertise and domain knowledge to maintain the train set. But unfortunately, it is not being utilized due to departmental bias. Efforts are being made to develop additional facilities at Shakur Basti as astronomical cost. This will be wasteful expenditure. Thus pride of Vande Bharat has been compromised and image of Indian Railways tarnished.


(v)     Railway Boards letter ibid, dated 03.08.2016, have been issued without due diligence and consultation with Recognized Federation, i.e. AIRF, and is in gross violation of the Indian Electricity Act, passed by the Parliament, and relevant codal provision as well. This has created, Chaos utter confusion among the staff working in EMU/MEMU/Metro/Trainset/TL/AC, resulting is serious resentment, among them, Lowest motivation and efficiency which has impaired industrial peace as well. The performance of Indian Railways is getting severe below and declining every day.

It may be appreciated that ‘CRISS-CROSS FAILED MANGEMENT MODEL’  of management and control  contained in Boards’ order 58 of 2016, is one of the most confusing Prescription for any organization particularly Indian Railways , nowhere seen or practiced in the World. AIRF Strongly condemn this ULTRA VIRUS AND INFATIUS order, which deserves to be withdrawn immediately, without further loss to this great organization. Now we no longer will accept this status, and would like this ULTRA VIRUS and INFACTIUS order to be withdrawn and restoring back to the status of pre 2016 status of Electrical and Mechanical Discipline.


Copy to: Shri Piyush Aggarwal, AM(Plg.), Railway Board – for necessary action please.

Copy to: Ms Manju Gupta, AM(Elect.), Railway Board – for necessary action please.

Copy to: Shri A.S. Khati, AM(Staff), Railway Board – for necessary action please.