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Passenger safety topmost priority: New Railway Board Chairman Lohani

Railway ministry appointed Lohani after A K Mital resigned following 2 derailments within 5 days

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Railway Board Ashwani Lohani
Former Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani taking charge as Chairman of the Railway Board, at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

The safety of passengers will be the topmost priority of the railways, new said as he assumed the charge on Thursday.

The railway ministry had yesterday appointed Lohani as the Chairman of Railway Board after A K Mital had tendered his resignation following two derailments within a span of five days killing over 20 people and injuring more than 200.

"Safety will be our topmost focus, of course. Cleanliness, improvement of stations, ending and VIP culture would be other areas of focus," Lohani told reporters here.

Lohani (58) said there were "lot of expectations" from the and the carrier would work hard to improve itself.

He further said it was an "emotional moment" for him to take charge of the Railway Board. Being an officer of the railway mechanical service, the is the parent organisation for Lohani. He has earlier served as the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM),

Lohani said he "feels good" that the government has considered him "worthy" of this position.

Underlining that the are a very old organisation and lifeline for India, he said it has several strengths. "We will move forward on those strengths," he said.

As Lohani entered the Rail Bhawan, he bowed down to pay reverence to his parent organisation.

He assumes charge at a time the safety aspect of the railways is under sharp focus after two back-to-back derailments.

On August 19, 13 of the Kalinga derailed in Khatauli, Uttar Pradesh, killing 22 passengers and injuring over 150.

On August 23, at least 70 people were injured when the derailed in in Uttar Pradesh.

Hailed as a turnaround specialist, Lohani, was serving as the CMD of now operationally profitable Air India.

First Published: Thu, August 24 2017. 17:01 IST