Railway Minister announces a slew of Reforms in Railway sector

पणजी Panaji: Promising “watershed development” of Indian railways, Union minister for railways Suresh Prabhu on Saturday announced a slew of reforms in the rail sector, including the introduction of remote sensing technology to improve safety, rail bookings on mobile phones and wi-fi at railway stations.

Prabhu was speaking after launching several new initiatives for Konkan railways in Goa, including laying of a foundation stone for a lake view resort near Carambolim railway station.

Prabhu said there were 11,000 unmanned level crossings in India where rail accidents were a possibility. He said he would get the help of ISRO to use remote sensing technology to overcome the possibility of accidents at unmanned level crossings.

He expressed dissatisfaction with the present system of sewage disposal in railways and said he would try to rope in IITs to come out with a scientific solution to the problem. Prabhu promised improvements in rail cuisine, laundry and linen and in signaling technology.

Prabhu said his ministry would plan improvement of every station and put up these details on a website. Rail bookings would be possible through mobile and wi-fi would be extended to more rail stations. Henceforth, tendering of projects would no longer come to the Union minister but would be finalized at the level of general manager. Doubling of railway lines where necessary, ordering railway food through mobile phone and improvement in quality of railway food are also on the cards.

Have Sought Vinod Rai’s Help to Make Indian Railways More Transparent, Says Minister Suresh Prabhu

Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has been requested by the Indian Railways to evolve a transparency mechanism for the functioning of the ministry and its operations.

“I have asked our former CAG Vinod Rai, whose integrity is well respected by all. I have requested him to come and guide us on ways and means to make railway functioning transparent,” Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

Mr Rai has been credited with unearthing the 2G spectrum allocation and coal allocation scams as CAG of India.

Mr Prabhu, was speaking at a function organized by the Konkan Railways at the Karmali railway station, a short distance from Panaji.

He also said the ministry would soon start a website which will work as an interface for the railway station development plan.

The website would host designs and models of railway stations prepared by the respective bidders in a bid to make the process more transparent and inclusive.