Fi­nally, min­istry to fill bul­let train nodal com­pany’s top posts

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Bi­noo Nair bi­noo. nair@ dnain­dia. net

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.

For rep­re­sen­ta­tion pur­pose only

re­port front- page Aug 19, dna

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