Involved Army to change Railways mindset

Piyush Goyal pays surprise visit to review FOBs being built by the Army

MUMBAI: Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal paid a surprise visit to Parel station on Wednesday to inspect the Foot OverBridge (FOB) being constructed by the Army. The FOB connects Elphinstone Road and Parel.

Mr. Goyal reviewed progress in construction of three FOBs the Army is constructing. He said the Army was called in to change the mindset in the Railways. “After the Army was called in, the railways completed three FOBs on the Central line and two on the Western line before their deadline. This was why I involved the Army and this is what required,” he said.

Following the Elphinstone Road station stampede in September last year, Mr. Goyal, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Seetharaman and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that the Army would be constructing FOBs at three stations: Ambivli, Elphinstone Road and Currey Road. The Army commissioned the Elphinstone Road FOB on Saturday and Sunday.

Army officers at Parel told Mr. Goyal the FOB would be ready in two to three weeks. Mr. Goyal indicated that the FOBs were likely to be inaugurated together. The Army will be commissioning the Currey Road FOB on February 4 and is aiming to complete the Ambivli FOB by Thursday.

Mr. Goyal asked the Central Railway to beautify Parel station, and pointed out that platform nos. 1 and 2 were too narrow. He directed CR to remove stalls to give passengers more space. Mr. Goyal also instructed railways officials to install escalators at both Elphinstone Road and Parel stations.

Latur coach factory

Mr. Goyal visited the State Guest House for a meeting with Mr. Fadnavis, during which it was decided to set up a rail coach factory in Latur. The plant will manufacture Electric Multiple Units (EMU) for suburban trains and coaches for the Metro Railway. Mr. Fadnavis said the factory will boost development in Marathwada and provide employment.

He singled out Minister of Labour and Skill Development Sambhaji Patil-Nilangekar, who is also Latur’s Guardian Minister, for following up on the proposal.