Fixing makes news in India when it comes from the field of cricket. Other fixings are not considered that significant. But a different kind of fixing is going on in Bihar – platform fixing. It may sound bizarre but it just requires Rs 100 to change a platform of an incoming train at railway stations in Bihar.
Being tipped as platform fixing, the East Central Railways (ECR) is in possession of a few audio recordings, which suggest that the vendors at the railway station in Bihar were bribing railway officials to get the platform changed for any incoming train in order to increase their sale.
The matter was reported to the Railways some days back when an audio recording of railway staffers and vendors at the Muzaffarpur railway station went viral. The audio recording had detailed communications of rail officials at Muzaffarpur station ready to change the platform of any incoming train for Rs 100.
“We have got audio clips and evidence, which suggested that vendors in order to increase their sale were bribing railways officials to change the platform of an incoming train at the last minute. Prima facie, the complaint that we received was found to be correct. We are investigating the matter. In the audio clipping, there is conversation regarding changing the platform for Rs 100,” said Rajesh Kumar, chief public relation officer, East Central Railway zone.
RAILWAYS LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION
Preliminary investigation has found that as the platform of important trains are pre-fixed, the vendors used to negotiate for inter-city and passenger trains with the rail officials and get their pre-scheduled platforms changed.
The railway officials admit that the nexus between vendors and rail officials has hampered the operation of train movement in Sonepur division. On the basis of the initial investigation, three railway officials posted at the Muzaffarpur station have been suspended.
“We have taken action against three railways officials whose names cropped up in the audio clipping and suspended them. Few railway officials have also been transferred. The vigilance team of the railways is investigating the matter. Presently, we have got evidence pertaining to Muzaffarpur railway station. We are checking whether this was happening at other railways stations in the state,” Rajesh Kumar said.
Acting on the disclosure, the railways have decided that from now on, any change of platform at a railway station would require permission from the zonal headquarters.
“In order to ensure that such things are not repeated, the station master will now have to get the permission of the zonal headquarters for changing the platform of any train. Details of why the platform was changed and under what circumstances will be documented from now on,” Rajesh Kumar added.
Courtesy: India Today