Haridwar Jn (HW): Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu assured changes in the railway system to ensure Indian railways leaps forward and becomes one of the best in the world, with acquisition of locomotives, coaches, wagons,doubling of railway lines and gauge conversion on the anvil.
Suresh Prabhu stated this while inaugurating railway ticketing and reservation building at Haridwar railway station.
Stating that in this fiscal year rail budget, rupees one lakh crore had been targeted for investment in the railway infrastructure and providing best of the facilities, Union Minister Prabhu said that the government had refrained from populist railway budget.
“For the past 65 years, the Railways have not leap-frogged as was expected. This is a challenging time for Indian Railways. We are first emphasising on fully implementing and completing existing railway projects, then only we will start afresh new projects. People need to understand that this year’s railway budget has been made with an eye on making Indian Railways world class by the next decade. Results will be there for all to see in the longer term. It is a visionary budget but very practical,” stated Prabhu.
For joint ventures with states, Suresh Prabhu said that a joint company to be formed both by Centre and respective states is in the offing, that will carry forward railway development effectively. Also, tender allocation procedural rights will be conferred on officials, too, for which suggestions are being sought.
He also urged state governments to take help from various organisations in development of Railways on public private partnership mode.
On the forthcoming Ardh Kumbh fair scheduled eight months later in Haridwar, the Union Railways Minister said that the Centre will fully cooperate and support Uttarakhand government and for this general manager, Northern Railways, will monitor every week the preparations for the Ardh Kumbh fair and give inputs-suggestions to the Railway Ministry. On the ambitious Rishikesh-Karanprayag railway line project, Prabhu said that Uttarakhand government needs to show interest and should cooperate with the Railways.
“If Uttarakhand government comes forward with seriousness and willingness, I assure that Union Railways Ministry will give this work top priority. Just putting the onus on Union Government for delay in the project, won’t do any good for the project,” stated the minister.
On rail safety he said that security set-up is being enhanced with a plan being devised and latest technology being used, which will lessen the railway accidents. Due to the minister’s arrival, the whole railway station was cleaned and had a different look from the normal days.Seema, a passenger, wished that the railway minister should come at least once a month as cleanliness, sanitation and facilities were of top level at the Haridwar railway station.
PHD Chambers, Uttarakhand submits Memorandum of Demands for Railway expansion in the State
A PHD Chamber Uttrakhand delegation met Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu in Haridwar and sought support from the Minister for ensuring speedy and inclusive development in Uttarakhand. The delegation, led by Rajeev Ghai, co-chairman of the Chamber, highlighted that although, there was wide and diversified demand for tourism in the state from both the domestic and international markets, the infrastructure facilities were not adequate. It is envisaged that a robust infrastructure and good connectivity clubbed with other developmental policies like cluster approach for agro-horticulture sector, single window system, special hill policy for MSME would give the necessary thrust, the delegation submitted to the minister. ”Railway can play an important role in strengthening the infrastructure and connectivity of the state,” Mr Ghai stressed, presenting a representation to the minister. The representation asked for expediting the proposed logistics hub at Haridwar, informing that the MoU between CONCOR and SIIDCUL has already being signed and BHEL has already earmarked a land for the same. It sought increase in the track mileage of the trains between Delhi-Dehradun and Delhi-Haldwani and Kumaun Garhwal by excluding Saharanpur from the route, by reducing stoppages of Express and Shatabdi, and increasing speed and a double track from Meerut to Saharanpur and then up to Dehradun. It also demanded relocation of the stations at Haridwar and Dehradun to outskirts of the city, increasing facilities at stations such prepaid taxis among others, railway crossing at Kashipur-Bajpur and increase in the rack capacity. Pointing out that railway surveys between Kashipur to Dhampur and from Rishikesh to Karanpryag have been already completed, the Chamber sought immediate action on these projects. The Union Minister has confirmed three structured meetings with PHDCCI to take forward the proposed issues in the representation submitted, Mr Ghai later informed mediapersons