Railways cannot be privatised, says Goyal

‘But it will invite investments for new technology’
There is “no question” of privatisation of the Indian Railways, but the Railway Ministry will invite investments for new technology, lines and projects in the national interest, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in the Lok Sabha in response to the debate on Demands for Grants on Friday. “There is no question of privatisation of the railways. It cannot be privatised. However, if we have to increase the facilities in railways, then obviously we need investments for it. We have taken a decision to encourage public-private partnerships and we will also corporatise some units. We should invite investments in the national interest if someone is ready to get new technology, new stations, projects and lines. The work for a Dedicated Freight Corridor started in 2007. From 2007 to 2014, they had not even managed one kilometre of track linking. We took on this work and in just five years, we have completed 1900 km of track linking,” he said. During the Minister’s hour-long speech, there were frequent protests by Congress members. Their leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused him of misleading the House and he was backed by his party colleagues. On the railways’ safety record, the Minister said that between 2004 and 2009, around 206 accidents took place every year, while the number was 153 between 2009 and 2011. During the BJP’s tenure, it reduced to around 100 every year. The Minister hit out at successive governments in West Bengal, saying several projects had been held up because the State was unable to provide land to the railways. “The oldest project in West Bengal is running from 1974-75. The projects don’t get completed because the government doesn’t give us land. If they give us land, work will immediately start,” he said.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/railways-cannot-be-privatised-says-goyal/article28417214.ece

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