Minister of Railways Suresh Prabhu has roped in noted industrialist Ratan Tata to head a new innovation council called “Kaya Kalp” he proposes to set up to turn around the ailing state-run rail network.
Sources said Tata had agreed to head the council announced in the rail budget, which will recommend ways to reform the creaking public service transporter that ferries some 23 million passengers a day.
“The committee’s terms of reference are being finalised and will be notified within the next few days,” sources said.
Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai is likely to be a member of the innovation council, which will also include the general secretaries of the two major railway unions.
The general secretary of the All India Railway Men Federation, Shiva Gopal Mishra, confirmed he had received an offer letter and sources said an offer has also been sent to National Federation of Indian Railway Men general secretary M Raghuviah. But Rai told HT “he had not been approached so far”.
In 2009, then Aviation Minister Praful Patel had reportedly approached Tata to head an international advisory board to suggest ways to turn around Air India. Tata, who was chairman of the Tata Group from 1991 to 2012, had not accepted the offer.