Monday, August 22, 2016

Abhilash Botekar| TNN | Aug 22, 2016, 

NASHIK: The Railways have outlined their priority for ensuring running trains on time to the destination, safely and said all other demands can wait.

Expectations were riding high on minister of state (railways) Manoj Sinha's first visit to Nashik, especially towards some concrete announcement for the development of the city, where the Railways have over 125 acres lying vacant since acquisition in 1973.

Sinha, however, simply said the priority of the Railways was to run trains on time and other things would be taken up as and when required.

"Railways need not construct hospitals and run them along with schools and then take care of its people. Instead, we would like to focus on operating our trains on time to the destinations and help people travel safely," Sinha said, refuting any scope of development of Traction Machine Workshop (TMW) in the near future.

The minister dedicated the footover bridge, platform number 4, ticket booking window and the toilet block under Accessible India Campaign to the public, over a year after they were constructed and used.

He, however, referred to the works being carried out in the state. He said the rate of investment by Railways has increased multi-fold after the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) coming to power at the Centre. 

"As against the times when Congress-led governments invested Rs 1,532 crore in a single year for Maharashtra, the BJP has invested Rs 4,458 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 4,767 crore in 2016-17 in Maharashtra for increasing the railway network and railway development," he said.

Referring to the 265-km Pune-Nashik rail route to be built at the cost of Rs 2,425 core, Sinha said the government has decided to cut down the shelf period of the projects from two years to six months. Hence, the Nashik - Pune project is also expected to be started in next six months.

"Our government has accepted the Nashik - Pune route during this budget and the preliminary works were carried out on priority. We now expect the project to kick off in six months from now," Sinha said.

On horticulture train for onions, the minister said the Railway had started the project in some places and soon a similar train would be started in Nashik for transportation of onion. "We are considering starting the train in Nashik as well. Slowly but surely, we will have one train in place," Sinha said.


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