Ministry of Railways
Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Railways Meets
Safety and Modernization Continues to be thrust Areas in Indian Railways: Trivedi
Consultative Committee Members Unanimously Advocate hike in Passenger Fares and Freight to meet Safety and Modernization Requirements of Railways
The Minister of Railways, Shri Dinesh Trivedi said that safety continues to be the highest priority of Indian Railways and all efforts will be made to strengthen safety. The Railway Minister was speaking at the Consultative Committee meeting of Members of Parliament for Ministry of Railways held here today. The agenda for the meeting was “Safety and Modernization of Indian Railways”. The Ministers of State for Railways, Shri K. H. Muniyappa was also especially present at the meeting.
The Railway Minister said that the Indian Railways have recently constituted two Expert Committees, one on Safety and other on Modernization. Shri Trivedi said that High Level Safety Review Committee headed by Dr. Anil Kakodkar, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission was asked to lay down a roadmap on improving safety of Indian Railways while the other Expert group on modernization headed by Shri Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister was asked to recommend ways and means of modernizing Indian Railways to meet the various challenges in the ever changing environment. The Minister informed that both the Committees submitted their reports within record time and the copies of the same have also been circulated to Members of the Consultative Committee for their comments and suggestions.
Shri Trivedi said that the valuable suggestions and recommendations made by the Expert Committees are being looked into with an open mind. Shri Trivedi emphasized that the Ministry of Railways and the elected representatives will have to work as a team to achieve desired results for the betterment of the Indian Railways. Appreciating the support received from the Members of the Consultative Committee in his initiatives on safety and modernization, the Railway Minister said that it has enhanced his morale and he will make all out efforts to lead the Railways to the new level of safety and modernization.
The Members participating in the Consultative Committee meeting welcomed the recommendations of two Committees and emphasized that safety and modernization of Indian Railways are the needs of the hour. The Members unanimously and vociferously suggested that there cannot be any laxity or compromise on safety related works and initiatives and exhorted Railways to go all out to mobilize resources internally for implementing these recommendations.
The Members appreciated the fact that the input costs like fuel, electricity, steel, cement, salaries etc. have gone manifold in the last decade and called upon Railways to take measures to offset that by increasing fares & freight, which has not been done in the last nine years. The Members pointed out that the passengers want better facilities, amenities and safe travel and will not mind paying increased fare for that purpose. They strongly felt that the time has now come for taking strong measures to raise resources as experts of both the Committees have projected huge requirements of funds for safety and modernization. The Members suggested that the Parliament Committee will back Railway Ministry’s initiatives and efforts in this direction.
They also emphasized the need for providing improved passenger amenities, clean linen, clean coaches and stations and improved punctuality. Some also suggested improvements in the catering services specially the hygiene and quality of food. Some Members also requested for expediting the work of various pending projects on doubling, gauge conversion and foot over bridge, road over bridges etc.
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Mittal, Members of the Railway Board and senior officials of Ministry of Railways were among those present on the occasion.