Lohani takes over as new Railway Board head

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Aug 2017 08:55:21


Staff Reporter,


ENDING all speculations, the Central Government on Wednesday named Ashwani Lohani as the new Chairman
of Railway Board (CRB). He succeeds A K Mittal who put in his papers on Tuesday, cutting short his two year extension post retirement.
“The Hitavada’ on Wednesday was first to report about Mittal’s resignation as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rapped the Railways top brass for its inability to curb the chain of mishaps.

Even as Central Cabinet was in meeting, news about another derailment again in Uttar Pradesh came paving way for Lohani’s appointment.
“Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways,” the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet said.

It is not yet clear who will replace Lohani as Air India’s chairman and managing director.
It’s a full circle for Lohani, who comes back to his parent cadre, the Railways from which he was on deputation. He belongs to Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers (IRSME).

Although, Ghanshyam Singh, Member (Traction), too, was in the race, ultimately the choice of PMO prevailed.
Lohani is an officer of the 1980 batch of IRSME and credited with putting Madhya Pradesh Tourism on national map. Before that, within Railways, he earned a name for himself as Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Delhi Division of Northern Railway Zone, and later as Director, National Rail Museum; and Chief Administrative Officer, Rail Alternate Fuel.

The officer faces the biggest challenge of his career to oversee ambitious expansion plan of Railways and also bring about merger of technology, given that Bullet Trains are set to make debut in the country.

Lohani has record of having four engineering equivalent degrees in streams of mechanical, electrical, metallurgical, and electronics and telecommunication engineering. He completed the degrees between 1977-79 from Institute of Engineering, Kolkata.

He also successfully piloted the nomination of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lohani was decorated with the railway national award for outstanding performance in 1996.
Mital, a 1976-batch officer of the Indian Railway Stores Service, submitted his resignation to Prabhu on Tuesday evening, officials said.

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. A day after the accident, Prabhu had sent three senior officials, including a member of the Board, on leave.