In a speech via video conference, at the infrastructure summit by Bengal Chambers on Thursday, the Railway minister said that the railway projects in West Bengal is growing smoothly, as Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is taking care of these projects.
“Mamataji was the Railway minister. She knows how to maintain the railway. Railway is one of the most well developing infrastructures in West Bengal,” Prabhu said.
Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to develop the East, Prabhu said that the Eastern and North-eastern part of the country could not be developed without West Bengal. “The Indian Railway always gives special attention to West Bengal,” Prabhu added.
However, taking further steps towards developing the rail connectivity in Eastern region of the country, the Railway minister inaugurated a newly laid 28-km-long rail tracks from Hansdiha to Barapalasi in Jharkhand and flagged off Hansdiha-Dumka Passenger train.
Launching the new train service and tracks through video conferencing he said, “This will uplift the area and will go a long way in satisfying the needs of the local people.” The newly laid tracks will shorten the travelling distance between Rampurhat and Bhagalpur. With the opening of this section between Hansdiha and Barapalasi, the entire project between Mandar Hill and Rampurhat stands completed. Trains can ply from Bhagalpur to Dumka, Bhagalpur to Rampurhat via Dumka and Bhagalpur to Jasidih through Dumka. This will open an alternate route from Bhagalpur to Deoghar and Rampurhat. Indian Railway will continue to work on such projects to benefit people. “We are trying to develop such projects as soon as possible in Eastern India,” Prabhu added.
Indian Railway, the national transporter will soon join the billion-dollar cargo club as it is on course to ferry 1.2 billion tonne of cargo. According to the estimate, the Railways is targeting carrying 1.2 billion tonne of cargo this year and will be joining the billion-dollar cargo club soon, which has only five countries. From 90 per cent of Railways’ finances coming in from freight, it has been coming down steadily over the past 60 years. Even today, the Railway earns more than 70 per cent of its incomes from freight, around 20 per cent from ticketing and the rest from rentals.
Strengthening the business, the railway minister assured 100 per cent e-tendering in the infra-projects with electronically transfer of money. “We are working with the best technical companies of the world to build the aril infra-projects,” the minister added.
There are 400 new state-of-the art railway stations which will come up across the nation. “The rail station will have airport like facilities and distinct features. The Kolkata rail station cannot be same with Delhi rail station,” he said adding: “Kollkata is culturally rich. I often read books by Sarat Channdra Chattopadhyay. The rich culture of Kolkata should be reflected in the railway stations too.”
“The Centre is making a model railway station at Gujarat’s Surat, where city bus services, rickshaw services were also built. The project was initiated in a joint venture agreement (JVA) with state government. This kind of project will be set up in other states too,” the minister said.