People stranded in Hyderabad due to the ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, arrive at Secunderabad Junction railway station to board special trains being run by the Indian Railways to return to their respective nativ
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In order to cut on operational cost, the Indian Railways is set to end a colonial-era practice of appointing "khalasis" or ''bungalow peons'' who worked at the residences of senior officials, following an order from the Railway Board barring any new appointment to the post.

The Railway Board has said the issue regarding telephone attendant-cum-dak khalasis (TADKs) is under review in an order issued yesterday (August 6). The move comes after an August 6 order of the Railway Board to bar new appointments of such staff.

Here's what the Board said

Railway freight corridor
The move comes after an August 6 order of the Railway Board to bar new appointments of such staff.Pixabay | Picture for representation

The Board said: "The issue of appointing TADKs is under review. It has, therefore, been decided that any appointment of fresh substitutes as TADKs should not either be processed or made, with immediate effect.

Further, all cases approved for such appointments since July 1 may be reviewed and the position conveyed to the Board. This may be complied with strictly in all Railway establishments."

Railways Ministry officials said the TADKs join as temporary staff but are absorbed into Group 'D' staff through screening after around three years.

The officials said that officers posted in remote areas or working in the field during odd hours in the past were provided TADKs to ensure security for the family as well as do other official work like attend to phone calls or carry files. Both over a period of time, the bungalow peons have allegedly been reduced to the status of domestic help.

(With agency inputs)