Metro Rail companies told to have at least one Woman on their Boards

New Delhi: Most of the entities running Metro rail projects in the country including in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kochi and Hyderabad would need to appoint at least one woman as director in their board of directors. At present, only Chennai and Mumbai Metro have women members in their board of directors.

Sources said that all the managing directors of the Metro projects have been told to create the provision of appointing an independent director. “These have to be done to comply with the norms of the Companies Act. Since these are companies, there is a consensus that they must follow the company rules,” said a government official.

These issues were discussed at a review meeting of Metro projects chaired by urban development secretary Madhusudan Prasad on Friday. Officials said while having at least one woman in the board of directors goes well with the government’s focus on gender sensitization and representation to women, the appointment of independent directors is expected to usher in a new era in corporate governance in all such entities.

Sources also said there was also unanimity among all the MDs of Metro rail companies/ corporations that they should get more powers like that of their Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) counterpart so that they can take quick decisions without unnecessary paper work. Delhi Metro chief has all powers in contract matters irrespective of contract value.

“They wanted this so that project execution can be expedited and can be completed within the scheduled deadlines,” said an official.