Goyal releases booklet on Rly, coal ministries' 5-yr achievements
New Delhi: Rail and coal minister Piyush Goyal said his ministries could manage to achieve all the goals set by the ruling BJP in its 2014 general election manifesto.
The minister, while releasing a booklet of the performance during its full tenure said, "There has been tremendous progress in the last 5 years. Both Ministry of Railways and Coal has taken up new projects at large scale and implemented them swiftly with an honest approach," Goyal said.
From the recovery of railways security to curbing coal import, Goyal addressed a large range of issues and emphasised on further plans. There has been an 81 per cent drop in the number of deaths from 152 in 2013-14 to 29 up to January 31, 2019, according to the rail ministry. Focusing on the security measures, the ministry also highlighted the recent achievements by eliminating all Unmanned Level Crossings (UML) on Broad Gauge network. Further, the Rashtriya Rail Sanraksha Kosh (RRSK) fund of Rs. 1 lakh crore has been created for safety expenditure.
The capital expenditure has also been doubled to Rs. 5.1 lakh crore than the erstwhile UPA regime (2009-14). "Railways is connecting India at a faster pace with a 59 per cent increase in the average pace of commissioning New Line / Doubling / 3rd & 4th line projects from 4.1 Kms during 2009-14 per day to 6.53 Kms per day during 2014-18," the booklet mentioned.
Recently, few significant rail projects, like, Bogibeel Bridge in North-East eased out journey across the sector. With the 4.94 Kms-long bridge over Brahmaputra river journey from Itanagar to Dibrugarh is only of 180 Kms now, reducing the travel time from 24 to only 5 hours.
Mentioning the bullet train as well as Vande Bharat Express, the minister said these achievements were unheard of in railways. "This train will be proliferated across India and also exported globally," rail minister told media persons.
Catering has also been a focus area with compulsory printing of MRP on all food items and use of artificial intelligence to monitor food production in base kitchens for improving quality and hygiene.
The railways is improving passenger services including a complete makeover of Stations by installing modern facilities including escalators, lifts, free wifi etc. and using local art in the design, the ministry added.
Besides, emphasising on the coal sector, Piyush Goyal, who also holds the coal minister portfolio said that coal imports would have been around 1.5 times higher if not for the interventions initiated by the centre. "These imports have been annually limited to 200 million tonnes," the minister told.