Monday, August 5, 2013

Kharge likens railways to a cow

Mouneshwar Sonnad, TNN Aug 3, 2013,


GULBARGA: Likening the Indian Railways to a cow, Union railway minister M Mallikarjun Kharge said the services, running under a loss, should be protected like the bovine.

After laying foundation stone to Wadi-Gulbarga railway line electrification at Wadi station on Friday, Kharge said just as we draw milk from the cow depending on its capacity, it's similar with the railways. "If you draw more from the cow, it will give blood," he said. Similarly, one must be realistic while assessing the capacity of the rail network or it will suffer losses, he warned.

In 2004, the Indian Railways suffered a loss of Rs 6,000 crore but this year it touched Rs 25,000 crore, he said. It avails only 27 per cent of profit from passenger trains and 67 per cent from industry like cement, mining companies and so on. In India, 1.15 crore people travel by electrified railway lines and a total 2.3 crore people take trains everyday, he said.
Kharge said the ministry has 14 lakh staffers on its rolls, 12 lakh pensioners and 6 lakh contract workers. In all, 32 lakh people depend on the railway.
To offset losses, constitution of Rail Tariff Authority got in-principle approval from the cabinet on Thursday, said the minister.

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