1. Suresh Prabhu likens Indian Railways to ICU patient

Suresh Prabhu likens Indian Railways to ICU patient

Indian Railways was suffering because of neglect over several years and lack of investment in infrastructure development, the minister said.

By: | Kolkata | Published: August 21, 2015 8:16 PM
SURESH PRABHU

Indian Railways was suffering because of neglect over several years and lack of investment in infrastructure development, the minister said. (PTI)

Likening the Indian Railways to an ICU patient, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said the public transporter was suffering because of neglect and lack of investment and the government would invest 120 billion US dollar in the next five years.

Indian Railways was suffering because of neglect over several years and lack of investment in infrastructure development, the minister said.

“In the last several years we have not invested as much as should have been invested,” Prabhu said at the Eastern Railway headquarter here.

“Because of neglect over several years, Railways is suffering,” he said.

The minister said that steps were being taken to rectify these, but this would take some time before results were visible.

“You cannot increase the number of trains or rolling stock with the given infrastructure,” he said.

Illustrating the present state of Indian Railway, Prabhu said an ICU patient cannot be expected to join a marathon race against the Chinese railway now.

“A marathon cannot be done by an ICU patient and today’s Indian Railway cannot be compared tomorrow with Chinese railway. We must first understand where railway was and in that context we must compare today’s railway with any other railway,” Prabhu said earlier at a Bharat Chamber of Commerce session.

Emphasising that the government needs time to make up for the past, he said, “We are starting to run from zero point and still want to win the race” adding that in the next five years the government was investing 120 billion USD in the railways.

“Many of the problems that we face today is because of the lack of investment in the past and also because modernisation has not been initiated in the railways,” Prabhu said.

He said that Indian Railway is always compared with that of China but to reach that stage India must make investments.

Prabhu during the day also inaugurated a mobile-based application system introduced by Eastern Railway, R-Mitra, to ensure women’s safety and said that it is an “extremely useful app” that could be used by regional railways nation-wide. “Around 2.7 crore to 3 crore people travel in the Indian Railways system on a day-to-day basis. Different types of crimes are committed by anti-social elements,” Prabhu said at the Eastern Railway headquarter here.

“It is a big challenge to deal with crime in railway properties,” he said adding tracking and preventing crime was very important.

Prabhu said that lack of capacity in trains was visible during festivals like Durga Puja or Chatt when the demands increase.

The minister said that the Railways was working on a new coach design and noted that cleanliness has increased significantly.

“But I am not happy, there is a long way to go,” he said.

“However, in short time we have shown some results,” he said adding “we have a different vision.”

The minister said that 17 states have signed agreements with Railways for joint venture projects.

“I hope West Bengal will also join after considering the benefits,” Prabhu said.

During the programme at the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, the minister said that the railway was not getting enough cargo, though it has a capacity to handle 1.2 billion tonnes annually.

“We are very geared up to handle cargo of up to 1.20 billion tonnes this year. We are ready. We told the CM (Mamata Banerjee) also that we can handle more coal but we are not getting enough cargo,” Prabhu said at a Bharat Chamber of Commerce session.

Prabhu described Railways as the most eco-friendly form of transport which is a key component of the ‘Make In India’ programme.

  1. R
    Rameswar Pattanayak
    Aug 22, 2015 at 5:27 pm
    Railways no more hold sole or exclusive man or material mover position now. Given it's huge infrastructure and manpower, if it is allowed to be pla by politicians it may land in a situation of "Tram in Kolkata". So, It should aim at creating avenues to use its huge infrastructure optimally to achieve some business model. Increasing person carrying capacity is a very easy step which can be achieved by adding a reserved section of One 3A, Two CC, Three SL and Four 2S coaches and delinking the parcel services from penger trains.
    Reply
    1. Umeshchandra Mishra
      Aug 21, 2015 at 8:24 pm
      Mr Minister, blaming your predecessors is understandable for first few months of your uming office, by now , you should have at least brought the 'patient ' out of the ICU to the general ward, if not fully cured it. You spelled out some innovative promises in your budget, now the public is interested in knowing a time frame for improvement.
      Reply
      1. H
        Hari
        Aug 21, 2015 at 9:37 pm
        UPA GOVT USED RAILWAYS FOR GRAZING PURPOSES BY GIFTING THIS IMPORTANT LIFELINE TO LALOO, PASWAN, MAMTA ETC WHO GROSSLY MISUSED RAILWAY FOR MONEY & POPULIST GAINS. THIS DIRTY GAME HAS RUINED ECONOMY & FINANCIAL WEALTH OF THIS HUGE UNDERTAKING WHICH IS LIFELINE OF INDIAN ECONOMY. THIS FACT WAS DELIBERATELY OVERLOOKED BY DIFFERENT POLITICIANS WHO WERE IN CHARGE OF RAILWAY FOR POLITICAL GAINS.
        Reply
        1. S
          sandeep
          Aug 22, 2015 at 11:02 am
          you are right prabhu but u were knowing challenges you have ahead so don't complain like kejriwal but perform. give us example, build model station at Mumbai,Chennai , Bangalore Hyderabad etc and set example that what is in your mind. same way run good train both suburban and mail and show people you pay this much you will get this. it will justified just talk will not resolve problem but spoil your government image.
          Reply

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