Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal has said that any organisation to do good work must respond to the feedback from all its stakeholders. Presiding over the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of MPs of the Ministry of Railways on 13th December, Shri Piyush Goyal expressed gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for ensuring availability of adequate funding for railway projects. He said that improvement in the system is a continuous process. He pointed out that improvements in the safety, cleanliness, punctuality and infrastructure development of Railways has been quite spectacular in the last five years. Work on all projects has progressed at a very fast pace, including improvement in facilities for passengers at railway stations and in the trains. Shri Piyush Goyal appreciated the change in the mindset and reorientation of work culture in the Railways and said that this drastic change would not have been possible without the whole-hearted contribution and involvement of the railway personnel who are working with passion and compassion.
Referring to the recently held two-day conference “Parivartan Sangoshthi” of senior railway officers, the Minister said that a large number of innovative ideas were discussed with approximately 300 officers who participated in New Delhi and with more than 1000 who participated via video conferencing. More than 2300 suggestions were received from about 430 officers which will help in laying out a roadmap for the future development of Railways in India. He said that the mission of the Railways is to increase the freight and passenger traffic and increase the revenue earnings of Railways. Expressing his appreciation for the suggestions put forward by the MPs participating in the meeting, the Minister said that the elected representatives convey the sentiments of the people who are major stakeholders of the services provided by the railways. Shri Piyush Goyal talked about a more rational approach for creating new halts/stoppages of the trains.
Earlier, Minister of State of Railways, Shri Suresh C. Angadi said that Railways are the lifeline of the country’s economy. He said that the cooperation of the State Governments is very essential in the completion of the projects. He said that there should be no compromise on matters like safety, cleanliness and punctuality. Emphasising on the complexity of the railway operations, Shri Angadi said that the Indian Railways carries about 2.3 crore passengers everyday which is almost equal to the total population of Australia. The vision of the railways must be very clear that it has to serve the people of India.
The Members of Parliament participating in the meeting highlighted various issues like the construction of over and under bridges, doubling of railway lines, the facilities being provided to passengers at railway stations and in the trains, additional connectivity of backward areas by introducing new trains or extending the existing ones, fast-tracking of works already sanctioned, medical facilities for passengers, proper utilization of railway land and use of solar power for locomotives. Some members appreciated the tremendous progress made by the Railways over the last five years and said that railways are next only to the defence forces in providing service with dedication to the people. Some other suggestions made by members included rationalization of train fares, improvement of punctuality of goods trains and printing of price of food items.
Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, all other Members of the Railway Board and Senior Officers of the railways were also present in the meeting. A presentation titled “Indian Railways : Lifeline of the Nation” was made before the Members of the Consultative Committee in which all relevant details like modernisation of infrastructure, railway assets and operations, earnings and expenditure, key issues like financing of plan outlay, capital expenditure and prioritisation of projects, enhancing safety and digital transformation of the railways were included.