Bengaluru metro man appointed Air India boss

Bengaluru metro man appointed Air India boss

Bengaluru metro man appointed Air India boss

Senior IAS officer Pradeep Singh Kharola was on Tuesday appointed the chairman and managing director of Air India.

Kharola is the present chief of Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited and is credited for the turnaround of Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

Kharola (56), a Karnataka cadre officer of the 1985-batch, who won the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2013, will take over from Rajiv Bansal.

Bansal has been serving as interim chief of the national carrier for the past three months after the then incumbent Ashwani Lohani was shifted as Railway Board Chairman.

A PhD in public transport systems from IIT-Delhi, Kharola will head Air India at a time when the government is moving ahead on its strategic disinvestment.

Kharola, who completed MTech in Industrial Engineering from IIT-Delhi, will now steer the airline from being a state-controlled airline as the government is likely to finalise the contours of strategic disinvestment within a couple of months.

Kharola comes with his expertise of turning around BMTC from being a loss-making unit to be a profit-making entity in 2000.

Kharola, who is from Dehradun, is also credited with successfully steering the completion of the first phase of Bengaluru Metro that runs through 42 km of the city.

The new appointment has come at a time when he is working on finishing the 72-km second phase by 2020.

While he began his stint as assistant commissioner, Haveri, he has also held the post of principal secretary to the then chief minister Jagadish Shettar.