With railways, nation makes progress: Suresh Prabhu

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 May 2017 10:35:43

Staff Reporter,

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flags off special run of Ajni-Pune AC weekly superfast express

When railways make the progress, the nation too takes giant strides as development process gets a major boost and hence Railway Ministry has chalked out investment plan of nearly Rs 3.5 lakh crore for transforming Indian Railways. This was done in last two-and-a-half years, stated Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, thus underlining Railways role in ensuring that nation’s dream of superpower here is fulfilled.

He was speaking in city here on Tuesday where Prabhu flagged off special run of Ajni-Pune AC weekly superfast express. Union Minister for Roads, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari presided over at the function held at Nagpur Railway Station.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, Members of Parliament (MP) Ajay Sancheti, Krupal Tumane, Ashok Nete, Ramdas Tadas, and Dr Vikas Mahatme, local legislators and others were also present. Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Maharashtra Minister of State Raje Ambarish Atram also were present.

Prabhu also dedicated to nation and performed bhoomipujan of nearly 20 works of the region including that of South East Central Railway and Central Railway. On the occasion, Railway Minister patted himself on back for enhancing budgetary support for Maharashtra, an increase of nearly 206 per cent over allocation given by UPA Government during it last ten-year regime. Speaking about Nagpur and Vidarbha in general, Railway Minister said, “Nagpur is the heart of nation and if heart is good then a person remains healthy.

For Railways, Nagpur is an important corridor as trains criss cross in all four directions through this region and hence we have sanctioned doubling, tripling of railway lines to decongest the network. Once completed, these works post completion would augment capacity.” Prabhu lamented that previous Government neglected investment in this segment thereby harming Railways growth as its supply lines got choked.

Justifying the investment in Nagpur region in particular, Railway Minister observed that its benefits would automatically augur to neighbouring states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh also. Touching the merger of Railway Budget with General Budget, Prabhu said during the last 65-years while capacity utilisation touched nearly 150 per cent traffic grew manifold the investment in adding to Railway infrastructure was just 34 per cent.

Its 16 per cent network, this included vital supply lines, were handling over 100 per cent rail traffic as investment failed to keep match with need. Now, Railways is having full backing of Union Government and therefore we are investing heavily in upgrading network, introducing new trains and this is highest ever investment which is going to be doubled within next five-years. He also spoke about plans to save Rs 41,000 crores through getting cheap power, savings on power and use of non-conventional energy.

Railway Minister also outlined ambitious target of generating Rs 11,000 crores through Non-Fare revenue and first project is that of installing giant screens across Railway stations to showcase advertisements.