A 1999 batch officer of the Indian Railway Service of Engineers, Mohit Lila has been director, works, Railway Board, since January 2014. He has vast experience in planning and executing railway projects, and maintaining railway assets such as the Hazrat Nizamuddin and Lucknow stations. He has also been involved in the planning and approval of suburban metro rail projects in the country.
Lila says, “There has been increased government focus on expanding India’s railway network. This has led to an immediate challenge of gearing up field units for faster project execution and the removal of any impediments that could arise in the process.”
Under his guidance, the board has been able to raise key issues in different forums such as the Project Monitoring Group under the Prime Minister’s Office and the PRAGATI (Proactive Governance and Timely Implementation) platform launched by the centre. He maintains that systematic identification and removal of deterrents in project execution has made it possible for him to assist in kick-starting several railway projects.
Lila believes that his main strength is having great confidence in his team. He considers human resources to be the best asset in project execution. Therefore, rather than focusing on the shortcomings of his team, he strives to eliminate them through proper guidance and training. Lila says, “Any challenge, howsoever big or small, has to be dealt with in a systematic manner. A knee-jerk reaction to a failure can only lead to demotivation of the entire team.” Delving too deep into details, Lila feels, can sometimes be considered his weakness.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rajasthan University, Jaipur. Besides undergoing a number of training sessions in Indian Railways, he has also attended programmes at several universities and institutes, both in India and abroad. He has visited the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, Oslo, in connection with use of state-of-the-art technology in Indian Railways.
Lila is fond of travelling, as and when he has the opportunity. For him, it is the best way of learning new things. Besides, he is also passionate about reading books and listening to music. His wife Preeti Lila is a homemaker and they have two children – Saanchi, who is 14, and Sanchit, who is 9. Lila regrets the lack of family bonding that the current lifestyle has forced upon Indian families and tries to spend as much time with his family as work permits.