Finally, ministry to fill bullet train nodal company’s top posts
The still- very- much- on- paper National High Speed Rail Corporation ( NHSRC) – tasked with implementing prime minister Narendra Modi’s pet Rs97,636crore Mumbai- Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project – is finally ready to start.
The railway ministry has invited applications for the post of managing director and directors for finance, electrical and projects. The last date for submitting application is October 31. A search- cumselection committee, headed by the Union cabinet secretary, will finalise the candidates shortly afterward, officials said.
Though certain norms have been formulated to make the selection, the cabinet secretary- led committee can set aside some or all of them, in case a candidate is otherwise meritorious.
“The managing director and the three directors must not be more than 55 years of age as on April 1 this year. They must have 10 years of experience in streams concerned. In a positive move to keep the field wide open, however, these criteria can be waived off in case of an outstanding candidate. But the committee will have to put down in writing that they have waived off the norms. It is a good move. Generally, a lot of these posts get occupied by the same bureaucrats who crowd various government departments,” an official said.
In its August 19 edition, dna had front- paged the sorry state of NHSRC. Despite being registered under the Companies Act, 1956, in February this year, the body does not have any full- time directors. At the time of formation of the company, the railways had appointed Girish Pillai ( additional member, catering and infra, railway board), PV Vaidialingam ( advisor, commercial and accounting reforms, railway board) and Mukul Saran Mathur ( executive director, PPP, railway board) as the first three temporary directors.
Formed on February 12 this year, the company was to be the nodal agency to execute the project and to coordinate with the state governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra, each of which have been offered 25% stake in the company.
The absence of full- time directors was stalling the project as the ground- level talks between the NHSRC and the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat were not proceeding as expected. There is a deadlock between the Maharashtra government and the NHSRC regarding the loca- tion of the project’s terminal station in Bandra. Moreover, despite the Modi government being in power for over two years now, the project itself has not seen a stone move on the ground, some officials pointed out.
report front- page Aug 19, dna