Railways inviting State Governments to form Joint Venture Cos: Suresh Prabhu

Kolkata (KOAA): Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said that his department was inviting state governments to form companies that will boost railway infrastructure in these states.

The companies will come up with an equal equity contribution between the Centre and the State. Initial agreements with 20-odd States have already been inked.

The move is said to be done keeping in mind the Centre’s policy of empowering the States.

“We have signed MoUs (memorandum of understanding) with 20 States. Under the agreement, a company jointly owned by the Centre and States will be formed. It will develop infrastructure and look into issues that the States deem to be important,” he told media persons here.

Collaboration with West Bengal

According to the Minister, the railways will collaborate with West Bengal for the development of infrastructure here.

Prabhu is expected to meet West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, post her return from Bangladesh.

Issues relating to stalled metro railway projects may also be taken up at the meeting.

In order to fuel the growth story in the eastern parts of the country, the need of the hour was to improve the means of connectivity which include improving the rail, road, sea and waterway network. The railways, he said, will make essential contribution in this effort.

Plans are also afoot for the railways to increase its freight capacity from one billion tonne to one-and-a-half billion tonne.