Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, on Saturday, in a veiled attack lambasted the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government saying that the problem in the Indian Railways is not new; it was given to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2014 as inheritance.
“I am not giving an excuse, but problems in Indian Railways aren’t one or two years old, they were accumulated over years and were given to us in 2014 as inheritance,” Goyal said.
Goyal without taking any particular name said those opposing the bullet trains should answer whether they want the people to suffer by not letting the government introduce better technology and keep them safe.
He said that it is due to the mentality of these critics the Indian Railways is still running on 100-year-old technology.
“Politicos doing politics on the issue should actually give us good suggestions, so that we can help the people in a better way. This is an opportunity to rise above politics,” he said.
Further discussing about the initiative taken by the Centre in the wake of the recent Mumbai stampede incident, Goyal said 20 new foot overbridges have been approved in the Central Railways and 10 new foot-over bridges in the Western Railways. Apart from this, 13 foot overbridges have been approved for widening.
He said 40 maintenance yards across the country will be upgraded with modern technology for maintenance for wards, locomotive in a better way.
“I have sanctioned 15 car platforms for extension in the Western Railways, which will be beneficial for speeding up the process in the slow corridor,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, Goyal empowered the Railways’ General Managers to spend whatever is necessary on safety.
Goyal took this decision while chairing a meeting with the senior officers of the Railway Board at the Western Railways headquarters at Churchgate. Various major decisions were taken in the meeting, wherein passenger safety has been accorded the highest priority.
For next 18 months, General Managers of Railway zones have been delegated powers without limit for Safety related issues. They shall intimate Financial Commissioner (FC) within a week of sanction for provision, and FC shall confirm the same within 15 days. In case of disagreement, the matter shall be put up to the Railway Board for final decision within the same 15 days.