The railways will have to target revenue of Rs 3.5 lakh crore and investment of Rs 3-lakh crore every year to meet the country’s aspirations, the government told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
During a discussion on how the ministry works, Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw attacked opposition members and former governments, alleging they only talked about vision and preparing concept notes , but had taken no steps to implement them.
The minister said that to meet the aspirations of the country, its citizens and the future generation over the next 10 years, the railways should aim to carry 1,000 crore passengers every year from around 800 crore currently , and to increase the freight load from 140 crore ton to 300 crore ton.
“If we don’t, we can never subsidize passenger fares,” he said.
Vaishnaw said the cost of passenger fare and services is around Rs 1.16 per kilometer but the railways charge only 48 paise per kilometer and a social bond subsidy of around Rs 62 Rs 000 crore is granted on passenger fares.
“For that, we will have to increase the freight by 2-2.5 times. Not the freight cost, (but) the volume. We will have to achieve an income of Rs 3.5 lakh crore and invest Rs 3-lakh crore every year Only then will we be able to meet the aspirations of this country,” he said.
The minister also alleged that previous governments lacked clarity of vision, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has clearly decided that the railways should move away from diesel and opt for electrification.
“It’s good that you gave a concept but what work did you do? It’s good that you gave a vision document… but will the country work on the concept? You will have to show the work,” he said, referring to freight. hallway project.
He said the concept note for the corridor came in 2004, the foundation station was laid in 2006, but not a kilometer of the project was commissioned under the previous government.
“How many kilometers were ordered? Zero. Only zero. That was the condition. How many kilometers were ordered today? 1,010 kilometers,” Vaishnaw said.
He said a situation of “political paralysis” existed across the country under the previous regime and the railway was also affected.
“I don’t want to take your credit away from you. You’ve got a lot going on. 2G, Coal, Commonwealth. We don’t want any of your credit. These stats are in front of you,” Vaishnaw said.
Agitated by Vaishnaw’s remarks, opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge briefly interrupted his speech.
He said an initiative was taken under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but it was not enough to meet the aspirations of people in the northeast.
The Minister said that investments in the North East during the period 2009-2014 was only Rs 2,122 Crore which was increased almost twice by the Prime Minister to Rs 5,531 Crore and it didn’t stop there.
Vaishnaw said Gandhinagar and Rani Kamalapati stations have been developed as world-class stations and lessons are being learned to make stations in all cities a central place not only for passengers but also for others. city dwellers by equipping them with good restaurants and other amenities.
The minister alleged that the opposition raises several issues without looking into its own past.
He said the government is bringing in the E5 series of bullet trains currently running in Japan.
“All the civil works, the track works are done by Indian engineers, Indian companies. It’s a way of absorbing technology. Geotechnical survey was done every 100 kilometers of the entire extent of the ground.
“Due to progress, pillars of about 8 kilometers are being cast. Pillars of 29 kilometers have been cast. Foundations of nearly 80 kilometers have been cast,” Vaishnaw said.
He said the aim is to manufacture more than 5,000 LHB coaches this year, which will replace five to six trains every month.
On railway recruitment, Vaishnaw said there were 2,42,709 appointments between 2009 and 2014 and after that, 3,44,646 appointments were made and recruitment is ongoing for 1,40,713 positions.
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