Railways Minister Piyush Goyal is known to be one of the most hardworking and efficient ministers in the current government. His style of working is akin to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s approach- a holistic and 360 degrees vision to all-round development. Perform or perish has been his mantra. He employed the same mantra on the railway employees as well. He is at the forefront of bringing ‘corporate work ethics’ in government jobs especially in Railways.
The officials in Railway Ministry can now be demoted or denied promotion if s/he fails to perform. Their promotions can also be denied/delayed if they do not comply with orders postings in rural areas. “If an officer does not comply with his/her transfer-cum-promotion within the stipulated period, it may be treated to be a refusal for promotion and may render the officer liable for debarment from such promotion for a minimum period of one year,” said the Railway Board.
Piyush Goyal has had a long tenure as a corporate executive and so he was opposed to the lackadaisical and what is infamous as the ‘bureaucratic attitude’ of the railway employees. Therefore, ‘perform or perish‘ mantra was adopted for the railway employees. The ministry also introduced productivity linked bonus (PLB) for non-gazetted employees to send the clear message that performance and performance alone will decide promotions or bonus.
He even made many surprise inspections to keep babus in check and to ensure efficiency. Piyush Goyal even traveled as a common passenger by train in order to take feedback of travelers on services provided by the railway authorities. After taking cognizance of amenities and services that are provided to passengers, he also called railway officials on the spot and instructed them to improve the quality of the services. These surprise visits ensure that there is no lethargy in the bureaucracy thus benefiting the public at large.
In the absence of any security personnel or senior railway officials, Goyal visited Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and Churchgate stations. He visited the station master’s cabin of Churchgate station. Goyal questioned him about the dire condition of the station’s buffers. Goyal also inspected the platforms and the waiting hall for long-distance commuters at CSMT. He inspected the toilets and the waiting hall of the suburban station area.
He also paid a surprise visit to Bengaluru City’s railway station, and there he interacted with the coolies and the passengers present at the station and asked them their grievances.
Recently, he visited DLW, Varanasi and inspected two path-breaking prototype locomotives of WAGC3 and WAG11 class of 10,000 and 12,000 hp respectively, which were created indigenously by converting existing diesel locomotives to upgraded electric locomotives.
A senior Railway official had said, “If the head of an organisation is a restless minister like Goyal, these small steps will only improve rail services.”
Not just Piyush Goyal, other cabinet ministers’ of Modi government also has been making surprise checks. Immiadiately after assuming the office, Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore conducted a surprise inspection at the Sports Authority of India office at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. He added in his tweet, “Good not good enough when best needed. Athletes first philosophy must prevail.”
This culture of surprise visit is good, and every union minister, state cabinet minister and Chief Ministers should embrace it. Such a strategy will ensure better functioning of the system and keep the government employees on their toes.