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Pradeep Singh Kharola to pilot Air India

Our Bureaus New Delhi/Bengaluru | Updated on January 09, 2018 Published on November 28, 2017

Pradeep Singh Kharola

The change at the helm of Air India comes at a time when the Government is pushing for divestment of the state- owned airline

Pradeep Singh Kharola, a 1985 Karnataka cadre officer, has been appointed as the new Chairman and Managing Director of Air India. Kharola is currently Managing Director, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.

The announcement comes days after the Government extended the tenure of Rajiv Bansal, who had taken charge for a three-month period from Ashwani Lohani who was shifted as the Chairman of Railway Board in August.

The change at the helm of Air India comes at a time when the Government is pushing for the divestment of the state- owned airline. The Cabinet gave its in-principle approval for the divestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries in June and the process of appointing advisors to steer the move forward is underway.

Kharola is well known in Bengaluru for the successful rollout of the Metro Rail. Even though the Metro was bogged down by delays, it gathered steam during the last couple of years and is rapidly expanding into several corners of the city. Till date, there have been no major protests from the residents, especially those who have had to surrender either parts of their land or the entire plot for the construction of the Metro Rail. Kharola saw to it that the affected residents received market rate compensation as quickly as possible.

Kharola was the first Managing Director of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation when it was formed in 1997. Under his leadership, the BMTC saw several new initiatives, including the roll out of air-conditioned coaches in the city. He also turned the corporation around and it started posting profits during his tenure.

Kharola was able to raise funds from multilateral institutions quite successfully which helped cash-strapped institutions like the Bangalore Metro and the BMTC.

He was also the principal secretary to the then Chief Minister Jagdish Shettar of the BJP.

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Published on November 28, 2017
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