Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Semi high-speed trains top Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda's list

Mail Today Bureau   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, September 9, 2014 | 
Railway Minister Sadananda GowdaIf the Railway Ministry has its way, India will get more semi high-speed trains soon. The ministry has taken a decision to this effect in the wake of successful trial run of the semi high-speed trains on the Delhi-Agra route. The semi high-speed trains on this route will run at 160kmph.
Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda on Monday said the plan would be replicated in eight more routes in an attempt to reduce travel time. He was addressing the media on the occasion of the BJP-led NDA government completing 100 days.
The minister reiterated that top priority was being given to passenger safety and implementation of the Kakodkar Committee recommendations. "The safety of passengers will be our primary concern," he said, adding that the issue of lives lost at the unmanned level crossings would also be looked into. A special mention was also given to the premium trains that have helped the railway increase its revenue.
The minister claimed that the introduction of FDI in railways would bring much needed investment into the railway infrastructure. "The FDI will come in handy for the big ticket railway projects such as high- speed rail and introduction of automatic signalling system." However, he said the railways had not fixed any target for attracting FDI into this sector. "We have announced FDI in railways, but there is no target. But we would want Rs.6,000 crore as private investment in the current fiscal," Gowda said.
Taking a cue from the PM's Clean Ganga Mission, the railway minister has also launched cleanliness drive. "Cleanliness is another area where we have given our attention most. Railways have been asked to take up the cleanliness drive which will be monitored by the Railway Board," the minister said.


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