Post Mittal's resignation, Ashwani Lohani appointed as new Railway Board chairman

by Susie Olson August 24, 2017, 2:16
Post Mittal's resignation, Ashwani Lohani appointed as new Railway Board chairman

"The right man for the right job" was the most commonly heard comment on Wednesday evening after Ashwani Lohani, Air India's chairman and managing director (CMD), was named to replace AK Mital as the chairman of the Railway Board.

The head of India's railways has quit after a series of deadly accidents on the crumbling network, an official said Wednesday.

A Mechanical engineer by training, Ashwani Lohani belongs to the Indian Railways Services of Mechanical Engineering (1980 batch). There is, however, no confirmation if the resignation has been accepted by the Railway minister. Thirteen coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express derailed in Khatauli in Uttar Pradesh on August 19 killing 22 people and injuring 156 while 10 coaches of Kaifiyat Express train derailed in UP's Auraiya district today after crashing into a dumper which strayed onto the tracks.

At least 23 persons were killed and over 200 seriously injured in two major train accidents in less than a week. He holds the Guinness Record for successfully running the "Fairy Queen Express", the world's oldest working steam locomotive.

- Lohani featured in Limca Record in 2007 for having four "engineering degree equivalents" in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from Institution of Engineers, India, as per a report in The Indian Express.

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Mittal was appointed Chairman of the Railway Board in 2014, and was given a two-year extension in 2016.

Railway Ministry officials said it was in 1997 that the government had taken action against senior-level officials for a rail accident. Mittal resigned as the Railway Boarc chairman, following two back-to-back train accidents.

On Sunday night, several top railway officials including Member-Engineering Railway Board, GM (Northern) Railway, DRM (Northern Railway) were sent on leave, while several field level officials were suspended, based on prima facie evidence.

"Will not allow laxity in operations by the Board". He was also ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum in the capital.

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