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Indian Railways to end British-era practice of posting 'bungalow peons'

ANI | Updated: Aug 07, 2020 15:25 IST

New Delhi [India], Aug 7 (ANI): Indian Railways has decided to end the British-era practice of posting "bungalow peons" known as Telephone Attendant-cum-Dak Khalasis (TADKs) at the residences of senior officials of the 167-year-old national transporter.
Indian Railways last month issued an order to end the British-era practice of using Dak Messengers, or personal messengers, for official communications and move towards video conferencing in a bid to save costs.
The Railway Board issued an order on Thursday amid a review of the British-era legacy following allegations that railway officers tended to misuse the services of TADKs. No new appointment to the post will be processed starting with immediate effect.

According to the order, "The issue regarding the appointment of TADK is under review in Railway Board. It has, therefore, been decided that any appointment of fresh face substitutes as TADK should not either be processed or made with immediate effect. Further, all cases approved for such appointments since July 1, 2020, may be reviewed and position advised to Board. This may be complied with strictly in all Railway establishments."
The Indian Railway spokesperson said, "Indian Railways is on a fast transformational path of all-round progress. Many practices and management tools are being reviewed in view of changes in technology and working conditions. The measures taken are to be seen in such a context."
TADK is treated as a temporary employee of Indian Railways in the Group D category after the initial 120 days of service. The posting becomes a permanent one after a screening test on completion of three years of service.
Bungalow peons have been posted at the residences of railway officers to perform duties such as attending to telephone calls and carrying files from their offices to homes. Over the years, concerns have been raised that TADKs were being used by officers to perform their household chores.
In 2017, Piyush Goyal, after taking charge of the Ministry of Railways, urged senior officials to discontinue the colonial-era practice of having railway employees work at their homes. Around 10,000 railway employees were then relieved of their duties as TADKs until 2018. (ANI)