M.V.Ruparelia, A503 Rashmi Utsav, Near Jangid Estate & Vijay Park, Mira Road (East)
Dist. Thane. 401107. M. 09821732855. E/Mail: email@example.com
Shri Vinay Mittal,
Chairman, Railway Board, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi- 110001.
Sub: Implementation of Various Policies of Government of India by Rail Ministry on Welfare of Senior Citizens and Retired Railway Employees.
1. With the tremendous progress of Medical Science and general prosperity of the Country, longevity of citizens in India has increased considerably and our Country is the Second Biggest Country of the World having huge population of Senior Citizens. Keeping in view the international efforts and directives of United Nations Organization, Government of India notified National Policy on Older Persons with approval of Cabinet on 13-2-99 with clear directives to each Stake Holder to implement various provisions by fixing targets etc. Government also directed to treat the Older Persons as respected Citizens requiring strengthening of their legitimate place in the Society and to take all actions to help them to live their last phase of life with Purpose, Dignity and Peace. Article 41 of Constitution of India directs to make effective provision for securing the right to Public Assistance in cases of old age. The right to equality is a Constitutional fundamental right of Elders also.
2. We have been requesting Rail Ministry to examine certain specific provisions of the Policy, 99 and issue instructions to all Railways for implementation since 10-1-08 through representations by name to Hon. Railway Minister followed by reminders, RTI Applications, Appeals etc, as indicated in Annexure A. It is observed that instead of examining and taking decision at Board`s level, letters to Minister are forwarded to one (Central Railway) or all Railways and even after that Railway and majority of all Railways having said that these are policy matters and require to be decided by Board, no action is taken to examine and decide the issues by concerned Directorates. When matter is taken up through RTI for giving replies to representations to Hon. Minister, instead of giving parawise reply for various issues, stock reply is given that information asked in RTI Applications is in form of complaint & request and is not covered under the term ``Information`` under RTI and no action is taken on representations to Minister. Even Ministry of Personnel, Pension and Public Grievances has included the following as item 1 of AGENDA ITEM FOR MEETING OF STANDING COMMITTEE OF VOLUNTARY AGENCIES (SCOVA) to be held this month:
Time bound & real time dissemination of information are the two of this novel venture for the welfare of pensioners.
It has been reported that several Ministries especially Railways are not handling he Grievances with all seriousness which is required in such cases. These are sometime transmitted to wrong destinations and are also unilaterally closed on incorrect grounds without resolving. Similar observations were made by CIC also in some other cases.
3. We shall be obliged, if proper action is taken and system of such loose working is streamlined and the following three main issues of Senior Citizens are sympathetically examined and proper instructions issued to all concerned for implementation.
i) Decisions on various provisions of National Policy, 99 as brought out in our 4 representations dt 27-5-09, 15-1-11, 12-8-11 and 12-8-12 (Details in Annexure A) to Hon Minister followed by very large number of reminders, RTI Applications, Appeals and more than 51 communications in last 4 years for this one subject!
ii) National Policy for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) is issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in 2010. Our representation dt 19-1-12 to Railway Minister, followed by reminders, RTI Application & Appeals is not examined and decisions are not being taken inspite of several Railways having said that Policy Decisions are to be taken by Board. Training of our Doctors in Geriatric, Geriatric Wards, Training of Care Givers etc are required to be provided to retired employees as per this Policy. In some years, number of retired employees will exceed the serving employees and they are required to be given facilities, as laid down in NPHCE.
iii) Our representation dt 9-10-11 to Hon. Minister followed by reminders, RTI Application & Appeal to provide separate entrance in one IInd class compartment and some seats in Ist class coaches in Suburban Trains of Mumbai is not being accepted on the plea that it will be resented by general public. General Public is vehemently opposing provision of Ladies Specials, Handicapped Coaches, Facilities and reservations in recruitment, promotion etc given to Minority Community, SC/ST and backward Classes, FDI in Retail etc etc but all Ministries are following the Policy framed by Government. For Senior Citizens also, Government has laid down a Policy to provide Age-friendly, barrier-free access in buses and bus stations, railways and railway stations, airports and bus transportation within the airports, banks, hospitals, parks, places of worship, cinema halls, shopping malls and other public places that senior citizens and the disabled frequent. This Policy is required to be accepted and followed inspite of any resentment.
We shall be thankful, if above issues pertaining to 12 crore Senior Citizens including Retired Railway Employees are sympathetically considered and decisions conveyed to concerned offices for sincere implementation.
A line in reply in terms of Para 66 of Office Manual will be very much appreciated.
Annexure A showing details of References made to Ministry of Railways.
1) Application dt 10-1-08 under RTI requesting for information about action taken by Ministry of Railways on various specific provisions of National Policy, 99 for last 9 years followed by Ist Appeal dt 3-4-08, IInd Appeal dt 5-7-08 to CIC. Orders of CIC under no.4582/IC/A2009 dt 6-10-09 and orders again under no. CIC/OK/C/2008/00634 dt 19-1-10 to give information within 15 days also not carried out inspite of 3 reminders dt 29-9-09, 21-10-09 and 8-5-10. Total communications 8, 4 years, not a single reply!!
2) Representation dt 27-5-09 to Minister by name for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens, followed by RTI Application dt 8-7-09,Appeal dt 17-8-09, IInd Appeal dt 29-9-09. Wrongly sent to Central Railway, which replied that points raised are to be decided by Railway Board. CIC`s Orders no. CIC/AD/C/2009/001260 dt 31-8-10 followed by my 9 letters dt 21-9-10, 16-11-10, 16-12-10, 1-2-11, 24-3-11, 2-11-11, 9-1-12, 12-5-12, 1-9-12. Total Communications 13-Period 3 years. Requested information not given till date.
3) Representation dt 15-1-11 to Minister by name to make provisions in Budget and for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens, followed by RTI Application dt 10-3-11,Appeal dt 16-5-11, IInd Appeal dt 2-7-11 followed by fresh Ist Appeal dt 9-12-11 and fresh IInd Appeal dt 1-2-12. CIC`s Orders no.CIC/AD/C/2011/001317 dt 11-10-11, followed by reminder dt 14-2-12. This also Wrongly sent to Central Railway, which replied that points raised are to be decided by Railway Board. Total Communications 8-Period one and half years. Requested information not given till date.
4) Representation dt 12-8-11 to Prime Minister with copy to Railway Minister for implementation of Policy,99 and other issues with details of provisions pertaining to Railways. PMO sent this representation for giving reply to us to Nodal Ministry, which requested Rail Ministry to give position pertaining to Railways under Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi`s letter no. 15-39/12/2006-07-AG dt 28-10-11 addressed to Joint Secretary, Public Grievance, Railway Board but requested information not given inspite of following by RTI Application dt 9-1-12, Ist Appeal dt 20-2-12, IInd Appeal dt 18-5-12 followed by letters dt 7-7-12, 24-8-12, 31-8-12 and 10-9-12. Total Communications 9-Period one year. Requested information not given till date.
5) Representation dt 9-10-11 to Minister by name for providing separate coach in Mumbai Suburban trains. Forwarded to Central & Western Railway stating that earmarking of accommodation is to be done by these Railways and simultaneously giving reply that any extension in the present allotted hours will result in inconvenience to other sections of commuters (2011/TG-I/20/37 dt 11-1-12). RTI Application dt 22-11-11, Ist Appeal dt 20-2-12, followed by letters dt 19-5-12, 5-6-12 and 20-9-12. Notings leading to decision of competent authority is requested. Total Communications 6-Period 11 months. Requested information not given till date.
6) Representation dt 19-1-12 to Minister by name for Implementation of National Programme for Health Care of Elderly (NPHCE) followed by Application dt 2-4-12, Ist Appeal dt 18-5-12, IInd Appeal dt 18-9-12 and letters dt 2-7-12 & 3-8-12. Forwarded to all Railways and majority of Railways said this requires to be decided by Railway Board and 6 Railways including Central & Western have not yet replied inspite of reminders by Board. Total Communications 6-Period 8 months. Requested information not given till date.
7) Representation dt 12-8-12 to Minister by name for implementing Policy, 99 with details of various provisions to be implemented by Railways and some other issues pertaining to senior Citizens. No reply even after 1 month.