Thursday, November 17, 2011

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi hints at public- private-partnership model to raise funds for railway

BHOPAL: Underlining the need to explore various sources to generate income, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi today hinted at examining the option of public- private-partnership (PPP) model, saying merely raising passenger fares cannot fulfill the existing shortfall in fund requirements.

"We have to be a visionary to raise railways income and that cannot be achieved merely by raising train fares. By raising passenger fares, the railways may earn Rs 2000-3000 crore, but its requirement is Rs three lakh crore," he told reporters during an inspection of Habibganj Railway Station.

"Our requirement is of an ocean, while by raising fares we will only get a drop," he said.

Citing the example of Japan, Trivedi said, "Railways in that country generate 40 per cent income from the other sources on the basis of PPP models and here also we have to think on those lines. Suburban stations like Boriwali and CST in Mumbai, besides Chennai, New Delhi and Howrah, among others, could prove to be a gold mines for the railways".

Replying to a query whether hike in passenger fares is on the cards of the ministry in the next budget, Trivedi said, "There is no need for us to wait for the railway budget to raise the fares. It can be done without waiting for the annual exercise also".
Trivedi later held a meeting with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and MPs from the state to discuss various demands.


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