NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure safety of passengers, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said he has asked all zones to immediately flag “pending decisions” to the Railway Board.
He said the September 29 tragedy at the Elphinstone Road railway station in Mumbai was a wake-up call for the railway officials.
“After the stampede at the Elphinstone Road railway station in Mumbai, I was pained to see that several decisions that were to be implemented earlier had been pending for over a year,” Goyal said at the 12th International Rail Conference in Pragati Maidan here.
He said that for the safety of passengers, he had given immense powers to the zonal general managers after keeping the Railway Board informed.
Goyal was referring to the stampede at the Elphinstone Road station in Mumbai on September 29, in which 23 people were killed.
The minister also stressed the need for taking decisions fast.
“Earlier the decisions were not taken at the required speed. I have asked the Railway Board to list out everything that is with the RDSO (Research Designs and Standards Organisation),” he said.
Speaking at the event, Goyal said that for safe and comfortable journey, there should be a separate freight and passenger corridor.
He also said that the Indian Railways had adopted modern technologies late.
“India is already late in adopting modern technologies. Last thing was the Rajdhani Express in 1969,” Goyal said.
“But despite being late, India … is in a hurry to provide most efficient modes of transport to serve the common man. And the High Speed Rail project shows that the Indian Railways is fully prepared to be the best of the best,” he said.
He also urged railway officials and entrepreneurs to come up with innovative ideas for the railways.
“There is no fund crisis in railways, give us a plan and we shall implement that, and I also want to assure the people here that soon a new system will come where the railways will make payments within 30 days,” Goyal said.