Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Railways meets

Ministry of Railways

Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Railways meets

Safety is Accorded Highest Priority: Trivedi
Security to be Modernized and Strengthened: Trivedi
Committee Members Suggest Fare Hike for Safety & Service Improvement

The Minister of Railways, Shri Dinesh Trivedi said that safety is accorded the highest priority by Indian Railways. The Railway Minister was speaking at the Consultative Committee meeting of Members of Parliament for Ministry of Railways here on Tuesday i.e. 16th August, 2011. The agenda for the meeting was safety and security. The Ministers of State for Railways, Shri K. H. Muniyappa and Shri Bharatsinh Solanki were especially present at the meeting.

The Minister said that consequential train accidents have consistently declined in number over the years. From a level of 269 in 2002-03, these have come down to 93 in 2010-11. He pointed out that an accident of any type on the Railway system is a cause of concern, specially in view of our commitment towards zero tolerance to accidents, whether due to equipment failure, human failure or because of any other reason.

The Railways Minister assured the Members of the Consultative Committee that no stone shall be left unturned to further improve the safety record of Indian Railways. He said that Railways are going in for all feasible, technological measures and improvement in asset liability to reduce human dependence. Wherever, fund constraints are encountered, Railways will seek help and guidance of all the Members, Shri Dinesh Trivedi added.

The Railway Minister said that the security environment poses challenges to the Railways. With the instances of ‘bundh’, ‘dharna’ ‘agitation’ and militant activities affecting the Railways on the rise, the Railways have to increasingly depend upon the State Police Authorities for help, Shri Trivedi said.

The Minister of Railways said that it is our endeavour to improve security environment of Indian Railways. In this direction, Railways are moving to further strengthen the Railway Protection Force (RPF) for protection and security of Railway passenger and property. The Minister further said that RPF is being modernized with induction of latest equipments and induction of requisite manpower. Railways are also moving in for amendment in the RPF Act, 1957 to empower RPF to deal with passenger security.

Shri Trivedi emphasized that the Ministry of Railways and the elected representatives will have to work as a team to achieve desired results for the betterment of Indian Railways. The Railway Minister said he is sensitive to the needs of the public as articulated by the elected representatives and instructed the Railway Board officials to examine the representations of the elected representatives in an objective and in-depth manner so that due cognizance is given to the aspiration of the people. The Minister also said that he would soon be visiting various State capitals along with the Railway Board Members to discuss various Railway proposals with the respective Chief Ministers and the local MPs. The members of the Consultative Committee welcome this initiative of the Railways Minister.

Shri Dinesh Trivedi urged the members of the Committee to give their suggestions not only during the meetings but also in between all possible opportunities. The Committee can enrich the Railways by their active participation of its members, the Minister added.

The Members participating in the Consultative Committee meeting made several suggestions to further strengthen the security system on Railways and take measures to improve the safety of passengers.

They also emphasized on the need of providing improved passenger amenities, clean linen, clean coaches and stations and improved punctuality. Some also suggested improvements in the catering services specially the hygiene and quality of food. Some Members also requested for expediting the work of various pending projects on doubling, gauge conversion and foot over bridge, road over bridges etc.

The members of the Consultative Committee appreciated the fact that financial resources would be necessary for achieving further improvement of services and providing further impetus to safety related activities and initiatives. They exhorted the Railway Minister that it would be difficult for Railways to move ahead without adequate generation of financial resources internally. A number of members of the Committee strongly advocated hike in passenger fare within reasonable limits not only to offset the inflationary trend and diesel price increase etc. but also to plough back at the same time the resources raised for the benefit of passengers and improvement in Railway system. The members pointed out that the time has now come to consider this reasonable hike in passenger fares which had not been done in the last 10 years so as to ensure improved and value added passenger services and amenities along with growth of Railway system. A number of members also suggested that Railways should give more stress on Public Private Partnership (PPP) model to attract private investment in various activities to overcome shortage of resources.

Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinay Mittal, Members of the Railway Board and senior officials of Ministry of Railways were among those present on the occasion.

Source: PIB


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