Upgradation of Railway Stations and Infra in North Eastern & J&k Regions our utmost priority: MOSR

New Delhi: Upgradation of passenger amenities at stations is a continuous process. Such upgradation of identified stations in various Zonal Railways including North Eastern Railway is undertaken under various station upgradation schemes including Adarsh Station Scheme. 34 stations on North Eastern Railway have been identified under Adarsh Station Scheme, out of which 27 stations have been developed.

The work of new line between Anand Nagar-Ghugli via Maharajganj (50kms) has been sanctioned in 2013-14 subject to requisite government approval.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

Minister of State for Railways Mr.Manoj Sinha also asserted in Rajya Sabha that it was according top priority to railway connectivity in Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast region and defence ministry would be involved in executing some projects.

Replying to a debate on Appropriation (Railways) No.2 Bill 2015 which was passed later, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said the connectivity is aimed at bringing about transformation in the states.

“Ministry of Defence will also be working with us in some lines,” he said.

Responding to Derek O Brien (TMC) who talked about Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for railway projects involving the Centre and state governments, Prabhu said states should also contribute in a cooperative federal structure.

“Cooperative traffic is not a one-sided traffic. It should be from both the sides… States should also contribute. Many states have accepted SPV,” he said.

On the railway works in West Bengal, Prabhu said the Ministry has allocated Rs. 3650 crore for the state, which was much higher when compared to Rs. 1604 crore that was offered by the UPA II in 2013-14.

The Minister further said that a railway zone in Andhra Pradesh was under the active consideration of the government.

He also said that his ministry was looking at accounting reforms and did not make major new announcements for completing the existing projects.

Citing the initiatives of his ministry over the last seven weeks since he presented his first Railway Budget, Prabhu said his ministry would be focussing on 900 railway overbridges and eliminating 3500 unmanned level crossings.

Earlier, O’Brien attacked the government on SPV, saying debt-ridden states such as Haryana, Punjab besides West Bengal should not be added with more stress through this mechanism.

AV Singh Deo (BJD) said Odisha government has supported the SPV move and the Centre should also support the railways through subsidies on the lines of fuel subsidies.

Noting that automatic doors were essential for trains for enhancing security, he welcomed the move for hiking fare for platform tickets.