GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS
New Delhi, dated 31/10/2016.
The General Secretary,
3, Chelmsford Road,
New Delhi — 110 055.
Sub.:- Admissibility of House Rent Allowance in the event of non-acceptance or surrender of railway residential accommodation — reg.
Ref.:- 1. NFIR’s letter No. 1/5(c )/Part I dated 22/02/2016.
2. NFIR’s letter No. 1/5(c )/Part I dated 25/04/2016.
I am directed to refer to your letters quoted above. The subject item (No. 40/2012) refers to admissibility of HRA in the event of non-acceptance or surrender of Railway residential accommodation. While this is governed by Railway Board’s letter No. E(P&A)-II/99/HRA-2 dated 16/03/2000; the Federation vide their letter No. 1/5(c) Pt. I dated 09/04/2012 had asked for review of the clause mentioned in Board’s letter ibid that HRA will not be admissible to railway employees for whom railway accommodation is specifically earmarked or to those employees, whose occupation of railway quarters is essential for easy accessibility during emergencies and efficient discharge of their duties etc. (“essential staff’).
2. Subsequently, as recorded in the PNM meeting held on 30-31 January, 2014, it was explained to the Federation that wherever there is a house earmarked the employee cannot be allowed HRA. Federation contended that administration cannot deny HRA when earmarked quarters are not fit for occupation and wanted that a clarification be issued in the matter.
3. The item was further discussed by the Federation with the Board on 15/07/2015 and it was recorded as “As decided in the earlier meeting, a clarification after reviewing the matter is to be issued. Official Side stated that they propose to issue instructions in consultation with Civil Engineering Directorate. Federation stated that while they do not understand the need for a consultation with the Civil Engineering in this case, they requested the clarification be issued quickly. It was agreed to do so. The item to be closed thereafter” .
4. Accordingly, the matter had seen referred to Land & Amenties Dte. who confirmed that instructions were in place (issued vide RB/L&A No. 009/2011 dated 19/09/2011 to all Zonal Railway, PUs etc.) regarding dismantling of condemned/abandoned quarters, and that quarters declared condemned are not made available for allotment.
5. In line with the assurance recorded at para 3 above, letter No. E(P&A)- II/2012/F.E.2/4 dated 12/10/2015 was issued to all Zonal Railway and Production Units etc. that before allotment of Railway quarters, it should be ensured that such quarters are fit for occupation. Copy of this letter was also endorsed to the Federation.
6. It is, therefore, submitted that the letter dated 12/10/2015 referred to had already been issued by the time minutes of the discussions on the item held with NFIR on 8th and 9th October, 2015 were finalized/received and this was also explained in the meeting with NFIR in 18/01/2016. There has, therefore, been no deliberate violation of the assurance given to the Federation.
7. As, in terms of extant instructions, quarters unfit for occupation are not to be allotted, the question of allowing HRA against such allotment does not arise, in general. Any violation of the extant instructions can be taken up with the concerned field formation for appropriate remedial action.
For Secretary/Railway Board