नई दिल्ली New Delhi: It will cost the state exchequer a pounding ?6 lakh crore to complete the pending projects with the railway ministry, revealed the union minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu at the maiden episode of Zee News’ upcoming show Razniti. He informed that of the 674 projects in the last 20 years, only 312 have been completed. The railways ferry almost 2.6 lakh visitors everyday.
Speaking to a gathering of policy makers, politicos and people from the press, the minister said that the lack of funds is a critical issue that is holding up the steering of the railways to success. The gathering had in attendance former Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi, actor Manoj Tiwari, Madhu Mishwar and Justice Mudgal.
Speaking about the abject uncleanliness in the railways, the minister said that the ministry is mulling a cleanliness system that will benefit from the integrated waste management system, and that it will have the involvement of state municipal authorities. He also spoke of a project where disaster management authorities will derive the most from the railways during disaster and calamities.
Answering questions from Arunima Ghosh, who lost her legs due to a train incident and had eventually climbed Mt Everest, the minister promised to make trains safer for women and the disabled. Taking note of the difficulty of having compartments meant for women and the disabled at the back of the train, the minister said that he will work on a system to get them forward. He also said that the ministry is working out a system of putting CCTVs in platforms and inside railways.
Answering a query from Amar Singh, the minister said that the railways are open to private investments, and that it will benefit not only the people who travel in trains, but also to its 13 lakh employees. Prabhu also spoke of the bullet trains projects, and said that the ministry will now rename it.