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In first FB post as Railway Board head, Ashwani Lohani recalls Tagore

Lohani took over as the Board chief after the August 19 Utkal Express accident, in which 20 people were killed.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2017 22:04 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Railways,Rabindranath Tagore,Ashwani Lohani
Former Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani taking charge as Chairman of the Railway Board, at Rail Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday.(PTI)

As heads rolled in the Railways following a series of train accidents, its new chief echoed Rabindranath Tagore, recalling the Nobel Laureate’s much quoted lines on dignity and fearlessness.

In his first Facebook post after taking over as the chairman of the Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani said the Railways as an organisation should create an environment without fear in its bid to achieve excellence.

“Where the head is held high and the mind is without fear is an environment that ensures excellence and we all should strive to create (it),” he wrote, referring to Tagore’s poem, Where The Mind Is Without Fear.

Lohani took over as the Board chief after the August 19 Utkal Express accident, in which 20 people were killed. Following the derailment, action was taken against senior officials, while the services of 13 junior employees were terminated on Wednesday.

The new chief has been trying to boost employee morale over the last two weeks which have seen four derailments.

He met senior officials as well as other employees, stressing that they were the strength of the Railways.

In his FB post, he praised vigilance officials for their work.

“I never had a great opinion of railway vigilance till I met Rajnish and Shailender in their avatar as vigilance officers. Still I believed that they are a flash in the pan till I started interacting with Sunil Mathur in the recent past,” Lohani posted.

While the first two are vigilance officers, Mathur is the railway ministry’s vigilance adviser.

“The presentation made by him (Mathur) yesterday convinced me that vigilance is in perfectly safe hands and while it would crush corruption and malafide it would never create an environment of fear, except for thieves,” he said.

Lohani, former Air India CMD, was made Railway Board chairman on August 23 after his predecessor AK Mital resigned following the Utkal Express accident.

“We are facing a serious issue with the image perception of the Railways following four derailments in the last 10 days,” Lohani said in a letter earlier this week to the 1.3 million-strong work force of the Indian Railways.

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 22:04 IST