Railway Minister offers to quit, Board Chairman replaced

Nine coaches of Azamgarh Delhi Kaifiyat Express train derailed after colliding with a dumper in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday
Nine coaches of Azamgarh Delhi Kaifiyat Express train derailed after colliding with a dumper in Auraiya district of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday
Author

24 August, 2017

The government has approved the appointment of Ashwani Lohani as Chairman, Railway Board following the resignation of AK Mittal from the post following a spate of train accidents.

"I shall be joining my parent organization, the lndian Railways tomorrow", Lohani said in a statement.

Mr Lohani, 58, belongs to the 1980 batch of the Indian Railways Service Mechanical Engineers. His resignation was tendered to Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu.

In a series of tweets sent by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, he offered to quit following a series of rail accidents, taking moral responsibility. Prabhu said Modi had asked him to "wait". The prime minister, he added, had asked him to wait. Although he had earlier dismissed the allegations levelled against him, he chose to resign on moral grounds today following the derailment of Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express, which injured 74 passengers.

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Lohani has been given the reins of the railway board at a time when railway has been rattled by recent train accidents, especially due to human error.

In his illustrious career, Lohani has served as the Chief Mechanical Engineer, Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi, Northern Railway, Director, National Rail Museum, New Delhi, Director in the Ministry of Tourism Government of India, MD of Madhya Pradesh Tourism, and CMD of India Tourism Development Corporation.

Prabhu met the prime minister after a meeting of the Cabinet today and left the city soon after, his staff told PTI. It was because of his initiatives that the Fairy Queen, the world's oldest steam engine, was run on Indian tracks, setting the Guinness world record in 1998. Had he continued serving at the position, he would have been the longest serving Railway Board Chairman given that his tenure was extended for two years in July. Officials say under Mr Lohani, the struggling airline posted an operational profit of Rs 500 crore previous year and improved its performance.

Senior railway officials said Mital was not happy that senior officials of the ministry had to face the brunt of the fallout of the Utkal Express derailment.


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