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Book on Railways turnaround story

K. Balchand

Chronicles the transformation and the distinct approaches

NEW DELHI: The turnaround story of the Indian Railways is being told once again, this time by the very man who helped Lalu Prasad to script the success story.

The book, written by Mr. Prasad’s man Friday Sudhir Kumar jointly with a research scholar Shagun Mehrotra, is scheduled to be released on Saturday.

“Bankruptcy to Billions” chronicles the transformation and the distinct approaches adhered that have laid the foundation for a new journey. Mr. Prasad’s Officer on Special Duty is an IAS officer of the Bihar cadre. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written the foreword. President Pratibha Patil will release the book at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“I’ve not written the book in the first person because it is not a personal story. I’ve not foisted myself and refrained from repeatedly referring to Mr. Prasad. I didn’t want to individualise it. My role was to act as a channel of communication between the Minister and the Ministry and the Railway Board.”

Reforms

The reforms to balance the commercial and social obligations of the Railways were based on the analysis of 60 years data right from 1947 and Mr. Kumar has sought to document for posterity how recommendations of the World Bank and the Rakesh Mohan committee were not appropriate for a politically sensitive organisation like the Railways.

In the process, Mr. Kumar also answers Mr. Prasad’s critics who suggest that the so-called turnaround is nothing but a sleight of hand.

Mr. Kumar feels that the same model could be introduced in other politically sensitive sectors like power and agriculture for all-round inclusive growth.

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