The Indian Railways has decided to bar new appointments for the post of ‘khalasis’ or ‘bungalow peons’ who work at the residences of senior officials. The Railways will allow general managers to fill up any such vacant posts with “regular employees” or “substitute” telephone attendant-cum-dak ‘khalasis’, according to an order.
A letter by the Railway Board in August indicated that the colonial-era practice of appointing ‘khalasis’ will be completely done away with, the current order issued on December 1 indicated that it would be continued, albeit with no fresh appointments, but posted from among the existing pool. The order stated, “The policy for appointment of TADK will henceforth be as under Engagement of fresh face substitute as TADK is discontinued effect from 6.8.2020. It also mentions that existing posts of incumbent TADKs rules would govern their employment. Upon joining the Railways as temporary staff, TADKs become Group D staff following a screening process after a period of around three years.
These TADK staffs are usually ticket examiners, porters, mechanics for air-conditioned coaches, and cooks in the running room. However, over the years, the role was relegated to that of domestic help and then to office peons, officials said. A TADK staff, who have a minimum educational qualification of up to Class 8, are paid around Rs 20,000-22,000 per month and given benefits akin to Group D staff of the Railways.