Chairman of Railway Board Ashok Mittal quits

Ashwani Lohani is also the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India

Notably, the Centre on Sunday suspended four Northern Railway officials and sent its General Manager on leave after authorities admitted to negligence that may have led to the derailment of the Kalinga Utkal Express train in Uttar Pradesh which claimed 22 lives.

Earlier in the day Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu offered to resign from his post after taking full responsibility of the multiple rail accidents that have taken place in the past.

After the reappointment, Mittal was supposed to remain in office until July 2018 with a combined tenure of 43 months, making him the longest serving Railway Board Chairman in the Indian Railways history.

It was said to be the first of its kind move for the Indian Railways.

On August 19, 23 people were killed and 156 injured after fourteen coaches of Utkal Express got derailed near Muzzafarnagar in western Uttar Pradesh.

Prabhu had directed the Railway Board Chairman to fix responsibility after the Muzaffarnagar incident. Hon'ble PM has asked me to wait.

The train travelling from Azamgarh to Delhi collided with the dumper at around 2:50 am between Pata and Achhalda railway stations, a spokesperson for the North Central Railway (NCR) said.

According to official figures, 586 train accidents occured in the last five years, of which almost 53 per cent were due to derailments. Revival and maintenance of decades old railway tracks has been on top of the agenda of subsequent governments but lack of adequate funds often hamper the modernization process.

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