Railway Minister offers to quit, Board Chairman replaced

Railway Minister offers to quit, Board Chairman replaced”

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet accepted Mital's request to be relieved and appointed Lohani.

In terms of educational qualifications, Lohani holds the Lima Record of obtaining degrees in the four major streams of Engineering - Mechanical, Electrical, Metallurgical Engineering and Electronics & Telecommunication - from the Institution of Engineers, India. "Either prime minister should sack the minister or he should accept his resignation", Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.

The big development comes on the day when Suresh Prabhu offered to quit from the post of Railways Minister in the wake of past few train accidents and derailments leading to several deaths and injury which in turn made the minister a centre point of criticism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked Prabhu to "wait".

On August 19, over 20 passengers died and 97 were injured after 14 coaches of the Utkal Express derailed near Muzaffarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh. The Utkal Express accident was the result of the train derailing as it sped past a station where the tracks were under fix.

The new Railway Board Chairman, Ashwani Lohani has previously served as DRM in Delhi Division.

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"Necessary communication in this regard has been sent to the Ministry of Railways", a press communique on Lohani's appointment read. He successfully piloted the nomination of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Ashwani Lohani is an officer from the 1980 batch of the Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers.

Mittal was appointed Chairman of the Railway Board in 2014, and was given a two-year extension in 2016. 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. He also said that he would not allow laxity in operations by the Railway Board.

Before joining Railway Board as Member Staff, Mital was General Manager of South Western Railway/Hubli.

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