Thursday, January 1, 2015

 A K Mittal has been appointed new chairman, railways board.

He emerged on top superseding V K Gupta, member (engineering) who was eyeing the highest post in railways. Sources said that the selection was made on the basis of criteria of efficiency and probity.

In a rare exercise, railways made a record 11 appointments including chairman of railway board and eight general managers in a day.

Mittal, who was member (staff), has succeeded Arunendra Kumar, whose appointment as well as entire tenure was mired in lot of controversies.

Mittal's position as member (staff) has been taken by Pradeep Kumar, who was general manager, North-Central Railway with additional charge as GM, Northern Railway.

Navin Tandon had been appointed as new member (electrical), a post which was lying vacant for last six months. Tandon was GM, South Eastern Central Railway. Gupta, member (engineering), has been given additional responsibility of member (mechanical), the post which is likely to be filled within a week.

Railways minister Suresh Prabhu has appointed eight general managers to head different zonal railways and departmental organizations. With this move, vacancies at the top level in railways have almost been filled.

Many in railways see the filling up of most of the top posts as postponing major restructuring in railway board as announced in the budget. However, some believe the appointment would expedite top-level decision-making and help in pushing the reforms agenda of the new minister.

While A K Puthia is the new GM of Northern Railway, Rajiv Mishra has become GM of Northeast Railway and Mahesh Mangal is the GM of Centre of Railway Electrification.

A Singhal has been appointed GM of Northwest zone and A K Mittal is the new GM of East Central Railway.

Alok Dave has become GM of Rail Coach Factory and S Mukherjee has been appointed GM of the National Academy of Indian Railways.

A K Harit has been appointed as GM of Diesel Locomotive Works.

The minister is also examining recommendations of a high-powered committee which has suggested a hike in passenger train fares, particularly in suburban service.

The D K Mittal Committee has made out a strong case for increasing the highly subsidized and loss-making suburban train fares. According to the recommendation, the suburban fares need to be increased by 2 paise per km every two months till they reach a break-even point.

However, it did not specify the quantum of hike needed to be made in long-distance mail/express train services.


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