The Railway Board has announced to do away with a 36-year-old protocol that encourages VIP culture in the ministry, PTI reported on Sunday. As part of a massive overhaul of the culture in the ministry, the board has said it was no longer mandatory for general managers to be present on arrival and departure of the Railway Board chairperson and other senior members during their zonal visits.

Instructions under a 1981 circular that mandated such a protocol has been withdrawn with immediate effect, the Railways Ministry said in an order passed on September 28. Railway Board Chairperson Ashwani Lohani said officials should also no longer be presented with bouquets and gifts.

The order further states that senior officials of the ministry have to relieve junior staff who work as domestic help at their homes. Around 30,000 employees trackmen are engaged as domestic help in households of senior officials, PTI reported quoting unidentified officials.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has also instructed senior officials to refrain from travelling in executive class compartments, and rather travel in sleeper and AC 3-tier classes. This will help them mingle with other passengers, according to Goyal.