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Railways passing throug tough time, but plans to overcome it: Suresh Prabhu

PTI 04 Apr 2016, 18:46:54 IST

New Delhi: Indian Railway is passing through a tough time but the ministry has drawn up a comprehensive strategy to pull it out of this situation and make the public transporter financially viable, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today said.

“Railways is passing through a difficult time. It is a challenging time. But, at the same time, we have to keep on doing expansion and upgrade in the Railways,” Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

He was speaking at an event at the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) here.

Prabhu said, the ministry is hoping to come out with a long-term plan soon, adding, “we have drawn up a comprehensive strategy to come out of this situation. We are working on a comprehensive plan to make railway finacially viable. The idea is to make railways better.”

“To begin with, we are working out for non-tariff operation to increase earnings which was never done before. Besides, we have also increased the capital expenditure substantially,” he said.

Railways have undertaken plans to earn substantial revenue through commercial uitilisation of surplus land and advertisement.

“We are preparing 2030 plan, It will be a vision for the future.”

Highlighting some of the changes taking place in the ministry, he said “Earlier Railway ministers were busy in announcing new trains, halts in the budget. For the last two years we have discontinued that practice. Now tenders or works contracts are not seen by me.”

Referring to the partnership with state governments, other countries and private players, he said, “16 states have agreed to partner with Railways in executing rail projects in their states. Many countries have come forward for technological cooperation, besides private players showing interest in projects.”

He said private players will have opportunities in the redevelopment of stations across the country. Railways have offered 400 major stations across the country for redevelopment with private participation.

He said railways has also forged partnerships with NGOs and self-help groups.