The appointments will be made based on clearance from Central Vigilance Commission

Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said all vacancies in the Railway Board would be filled, following clearance from the Central Vigilance Commission, within the next few days.

Mr. Kharge told reporters that the post of board chairman, which is set to be vacated on June 30 with the retirement of Vinay Mittal, would be filled either by Monday or Tuesday in consultation with the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC).

Sweeping changes are to be made at the board’s higher level — the chairman, two board members, six general managers and 24 Divisional Railway Managers stand to be replaced.

All these appointments would be made over the next few days, delayed perhaps by a few days on account of a number of developments triggered by the recent bribe scam that led to the arrest of Member (Staff) Mahesh Kumar.

If the chairman cannot be appointed by Monday, one of the “eligible” board members — not necessarily the most senior — would be given the charge till a permanent appointment is made.

Mr. Kharge, however, made it clear that he would fill all the posts at the earliest.

The ACC has been sent a list of proposed names to replace the retiring Finance Commissioner Vijaya Kanth, who will vacate the post on Sunday.

Names have been proposed also for the post of Member (Traffic) and seven zonal general managers — four of which are already vacant.

Two other vacancies will arise with the retirement of two GMs, one of them being elevated to Member (Traffic). The Railway Minister has the power to appoint DRMs and these do not require the clearance of the Prime Minister.

Tariff authority

Mr. Mittal said the proposal for the Rail Tariff Authority was under the consideration of an inter-ministerial group before being presented to the Cabinet for approval.

He categorically stated that irrespective of the constitution of the authority, the Railways stood firm on its decision to revise passenger fares and freight charges based on the movement of fuel prices.

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