The past few months have seen some really courageous decisions come out of the Rail Bhavan.
Introduction of policy for private passenger trains operations, station revamp, restructuring of the Railway Board and merger of different railway officer cadres are just a few to name. These reforms would have never been possible a decade ago as the rail unions — officers’ and workmen’s — would not have allowed the political leadership to move forward. Even a hint of such reforms would have caused a nationwide railway strike.
Anyone familiar with the functioning of railways knows the role unions play and how a nagging headache they had been for the governments in the past.
Bureaucracy always ruled the roost in railways and ministers have been known to struggle to get their way through.
Rail minister Piyush Goyal has been able to get these reforms through by artfully maneuvering through the maze using a ‘carrot and stick’ policy while keeping a strict check on the bureaucratic overreach.