Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for agreeing with his suggestion to appoint Ashwani Lohani as the new Chairman of the Railway Board to implement newly-launched initiatives. “Welcoming Ashwani Lohani and thanks to Prime Minister for agreeing with suggestion to have him to steer rail board to implement launched initiatives,” Prabhu said in a tweet. Lohani replaces A.K. Mittal. He will take charge on Thursday afternoon. Lohani’s appointment was announced hours after Prabhu met Modi on Wednesday and offered to quit after a second train derailed in Uttar Pradesh in four days, injuring 74 people. Prabhu said Modi had asked him to “wait”.
On Wednesday, 12 coaches of the Kaifiyat Express derailed in Auraiya district, just four days after 14 coaches of the Kalinga Utkal Express on Saturday derailed near Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh leaving 22 dead and over 150 injured. Saturday’s disaster led to the suspension of four railway engineers.
Three senior officials were also sent on forced leave and another officer was transferred.