SANGRUR: Expressing concern over annual losses of Rs 22,000 crore incurred to the Indian railways from express and passenger trains, Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal today did not rule out the possibilities of an increase in freight charges in near future.
Bansal, pointed out that the Railway Ministry makes up with the losses from goods trains, adding, the freight charges had not been enhanced since last 12 years.
Bansal was talking to reporters here at residence of local Member Parliament Vijay Inder Singla before inaugurating a flyover on Sangrur-Barnala highway over a railway crossing.
the laying of new railway tracks in country to keep abreast with development, Bansal said that 2.30 crore commuters daily travel in trains and 36 lakh goods are daily loaded and unloaded in goods trains.
He sought the cooperation of state governments to lay more railway tracks because the land acquisition is duty of the state concerned.
The railway ministry has no reluctance in laying railway tracks particularly in Punjab if 50 per cent of the cost is contributed by the state government, the Minister said.
He said that out of 32,000 unmanned railway crossings in the country 18,000 have already been manned, while the railway ministry now has planned flyovers on remaining 14,000 unmanned railway crossings provided the state governments contribute 50 per cent of its share.
An investment of Rs 5.6 lakh crore is required to modernise Indian railways, he said adding, some major industries, mine and port merchants are coming forward for the expansion of railway tracks to intensify their services.
The dedicated state corridor between Ludhiana-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai would be completed before five years, he said.
The total length of both the corridor railway tracks is 3,338 kms and the Ludhiana corridor would be completed on priority because Punjab is the "bread-basket of the country", he said.
Source - economic times