Nov 11, 2014

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION FOR RAILWAY EMPLOYEE REGARDING BONUS - LETTER RBE No 123/2014 dated 05/11/2014 FOR Payment of Productivity Linked Bonus Without ceiling on wages

CLARIFICATION ABOUT RBE No 123/2014 dated 05.11.2014

RBE No 123/2014 dated 05/11/2014 should have mentioned clearly that "Where wages exceeds Rs 3500/- per month. The PLB will be calculated as if wages are Rs 3500/- per month" to avoid confusion among staff. We are receiving calls from employees of all zones seeking clarification. Please note that the PLB letter was issued on 26/09/2014 after provisional approval and the same is now ratified by the Cabinet and Ceiling limit remains at Rs 3500/-. Many people are getting confused and expecting arrears.

PLEASE NOTE THAT NOBODY IS ELIGIBLE FOR ANY ARREARS DON'T GET MISLEAD BY ANY RUMOURS.

Source - National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR)

LETTER RBE No 123/2014 dated 05/11/2014




Railways must grow to attain 10% GDP growth: Dinesh Trivedi

Indian political system hasn’t understood the potential of the Railways, is the word coming in from former Railways minister Dinesh Trivedi. He says that Indian GDP growth is heavily dependent on railways. "India has the potential to grow at 10 percent for the next 10 years provided we let our railways and agriculture grow," he told CNBC-TV18. He feels that the government needs to come forward and invest more in the railways. According to him, railways should have passenger corridors rather than freight corridors. Umesh Chowdhary, vice-chairman and managing director of Titagarh says Indian railways has many low-hanging fruits and it is possible to see immediate results if these fruits are plucked. Chowdhary adds it is great to finally see a minister who has a clear mandate and an image that says he can turnaround things. For long now, railways has been a compromised ministry. Trivedi says had his Budget gone through, operating ratio would have been 80 percent. Below is the verbatim transcript of Dinesh Trivedi and Umesh Chowdhary's interview with Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy on CNBC-TV18. Latha: For the longest time railways has been given to an inconvenient ally of the ruling coalition and it suffered because of that. Only in your case, we saw some responsibility but you became inconvenient for your own party. What do you think should be the first two-three things that the new minister should or can do considering now he doesn’t have to worry about majorities? Trivedi: First of all, the political system in India has not understood the potentiality of Indian railways. It is very clear - you cannot grow India without Indian railways growing not double digit but at least 15 percent per annum. All of us, we say that railway is the engine of growth but the engine is stuck. Can you imagine? Four railway ministers in one year. So first of all, even when I was a minister, I always used to say that please define what is railway. You want to add your gross domestic product (GDP) growth with the railways or you just want to have the railway as a poor man’s transportation from A to B. So first of all, you have to institutionalise Indian railways and you must have a national policy of Indian railways, which is not going to be for a year or two. Like my Budget was not for one year, it was for five years. You should know where you are going to go from here after ten years or twenty years. But unfortunately, politics have always used railways as a carrot and that is not going to help. I have always felt keeping India’s growth below 10 percent per annum is a very difficult task. For another ten years India can grow at the rate of 10 percent provided you let the Indian railways grow. It is so directly connected. You look at any developed country. If the railway especially the freight system doesn’t grow, India cannot grow. It is the agriculture and the railways which can get India grow. Latha: What should be the first two-three tasks? You have a minister who has a record being a good administrator and you don’t have to worry about political majorities for now. This government has been able to raise diesel prices, it has been able to raise power tariffs when the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was in Gujarat, so they have shown the will to raise tariffs and now they have the majority. What should be the task of the first budget of the railway minister? Trivedi: The ministry unfortunately is so much minister driven so you have got to give a big leadership but unfortunately, at this very point railway is bleeding. There are so many vacancies, the entire board is going to be new. In the next couple of months, the chairman is retiring, more than 60 percent of the board members are retiring, the budget is around the corner and there is no money. If a railway minister has to present his Budget, there is just no money. So it is the government of India who has to come forward and say that this is our investment. Look at China, it was about 15 years behind Indian railways about 20 years back. Now they are a 100 years ahead. So you have to understand that there is no magic. One minister in one year is very little. Whatever you invest today, the result will come only after ten years. It is a huge infrastructure. So if I was a railway minister, which I have always said, I would rebuild the entire rail work all over again. Let me tell you one very different thinking which I have always had that this freight corridor to my mind is not a very good idea. You must have a passenger corridor - it is a very new idea because if you are building a new freight corridor, you might as well build a corridor for passenger which will take 300 kilometre an hour speed and the present network, which you have give it to the freight because freight doesn’t go beyond 120-130-150 kilometres an hour, which the present system is very well built for. So you have got to have out-of-the-box thinking. Again I would say safety is a huge consideration. We have been very fortunate during my time, I have taken some kind of measures so you see these days accidents are far lesser but that doesn’t mean that we are out of it. Safety is a prime concern. In a city like Mumbai, how can you expect 20 people or 12 people dying every single day on rail network? It is just not acceptable. You have to build the large kilometre whether it is with port, with factories, with mines, so you have a huge task ahead of you but please understand one minister in one year’s time can give his vision but it is very difficult to implement things. We have 1.4 million people working in railways. So you have to understand the railway system. Our political system needs to understand what is the potential of Indian railways, this is one of the best organisations in the world and it is a very efficient organization. Sonia: What is the sense you are getting? What could be or what should be step 1, 2 and 3 in order for Suresh Prabhu to turn around the Indian railways? Chowdhary: I heard what Mr Trivedi said and I completely agree with him that if the Indian economy has to grow then the only option for it is to invest and bank upon the Indian railways to support that growth. Without that, Indian economy cannot grow. I believe the Indian railway having dealt with the railways for far too long has a lot of low hanging fruits. It has been a compromised ministry for far too long. Now we have a minister who not only has a clear mandate but has a history and a reputation of being a reformist, a decisive person. So if only the pending decisions that have been there, the confidence building, the low hanging fruits are plucked, I think the turnaround will start showing immediately. Indian investors, we were talking about investments coming in and fund shortages being there in Indian railways. Indian investors who have so far invested with the Indian railways are all crying, almost all of them have become corporate debt restructuring (CDR) cases wherein on one side, Warren Buffet is investing so heavily in the railways sector, why cannot the Indian railway attract similar kind of investment. So if he can streamline the decision making processes for the time being, that will be the first thing that I would bank upon. Latha: Is just quicker decision-making one step just for executive efficiency but more importantly you spoke of this massive amount of money, probably a passenger corridor -- where is the money come from, this is a cash-trapped government which is trying to reduce its deficit, won’t that be a primary issue when the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government built the golden quadrilateral at least they could bank on a PPP model which of course ultimately may have come out a cropper but in the railways even that doesn’t seem like an immediate possibility? Trivedi: You will not have any private sector come in if you do not have a revenue model. I had bifurcated the stations. One of the big money spinner is real estate and even I was in touch with Warren Buffet's office and my entire job was to bring down the operating ratio and believe me if my budget would have gone through, our operating ratio in the railways would have come down to all time-record of 80. It is very difficult to bring it below that. It would have easily come across but having said that, you cannot have any fruits without investment. If I was the Prime Minister of India, I would invest lakhs and lakhs of crore of rupees into Indian railways. It is very unfair to think that Indian railways can generate its own profit and plough it back, it is just not acceptable, it is not doable. If you see the system all over the world, you look at the Japanese, you look at the Chinese, you look at everywhere it is a huge government investment that can give employment. The only way to turnaround India which I absolutely agree with the previous speaker that you have to invest and that is what is going to give you employment. We are too much hooked about privatising the railways, corporatising the board - it is not required. These things are important but that is not going to stop the growth of the railway. Sonia: The previous rail minister failed to put up a good plan to attract FDI into the sector blaming it on bureaucracy etc but what is your view on how much investments can be attracted into this sector via FDI or via any other route? Chowdhary: I don’t think there is any cap that can be put to investment that this sector can attract. The kind of investment that the sector requires can be attracted from private investors or institutional investors. On your channel, on the Budget day, I had mentioned that this is a typical business wherein 70-80 percent of your cost is fixed cost and the revenue that you generate - 70-80 percent is operational profit and on one side that is the model and on the other side what we saw is that the IRFC’s borrowing was cut down. So I didn’t see the maths matching up together. On the one side you are having an operating ratio problem and on the other side you are reducing your borrowing and thereby reducing your capex, so both were not matching. I think on one side, the railways needs to keep on investing in long gestation infrastructure whether it is railway track or it is in signalling because that is not somewhere where I believe foreign investment will come in but the rolling stock, the passenger etc should be privatised and I don’t see that there would be any dearth of investments that will come in. Latha: Deficit financing is about the only thing, isn’t it? Trivedi: Yes, I think we require a huge time investment and we have to understand that whatever you do today, the results are going to come only after 10 years, there are no shortcuts. If I had to be at the helm of affair, I would rebuild the entire Indian railway system and please understand our people in the Indian railways are the best in the world, give them the opportunity, give them the know-how, they will do it.

Source-money control.

HC raps Railways for ‘contemptuous’ stand on emergency medical centres


MUMBAI: The Railways' continued defiance of its orders to set up Emergency Medical Centres at 15 suburban stations in Mumbai, to tackle the increasing number of deaths on the tracks, invited the wrath of the Bombay High Court on Monday. A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ajay Gadkari termed the stand of Central and Western Railways to not set up the EMCs as "contemptuous".

CR and WR claimed before the court that the plan to set up EMCs to provide medical aid to victims of accidents on the tracks during the golden hour was "not necessary and feasible" since the average rate of accidents was 2.14 at a station. They also pointed out that 38 stations were provided ambulances by the Maharashtra government under the 108 scheme.

"Apart from the fact that (the stand of CR,WR) is contemptuous, it also shows scant respect for the orders of this court and scant respect for human life," said the judges, adding, "(The authorities) seem ignorant of the fact that lakhs of commuters use the suburban railway services every day." The HC said ambulances at a few stations was not the answer.

"Ambulances cannot take the place of emergency medical centres. If the ambulances are away carrying and injured person to the hospital, then no facilities will be available at the station. Moreover, only a few stations are serviced by ambulances," the judges said.

The court has directed the chairman of the Railway Board to nominate a senior official responsible for taking a decision on the issue and to file an affidavit by November 29 stating the time required to set up EMCs at the main stations. The court also asked the HC registrar to appoint assistant registrars to conduct surprise visits at railway stations to check whether amubulance facilities were available and the nature of facilities in these ambulances. The assistant registrars will submit their reports to the court by December 10, and CR and WR have been asked to deposit Rs 10,000 each to meet the expenses.

The chief medical superintendents of CR and WR filed affidavits before the court that the ambulance services at some of the stations were adequate and it was not necessary to establish EMCs. They however admitted that the railway medical services were mainly for rail staff and beneficiaries. Though all stations had been provided with a first-aid box containing 66 items, some of them could be used only by a doctor, they admitted. The HC said the affidavits gave an impression that the opinion of the medical superintendents was sought, which was not the case as the HC had asked for compliance of its orders. "The affidavits have not only defiled the HC's directions, but gone to the extent of stating that EMCs are not necessary or feasible. It shows a complete lack of sensitivity on behalf of the Railways," the judges said and requested additional solicitor-general Anil Singh to appear in the case on the next date of hearing to clarify the stand of the Union railway ministry.

The court was hearing a petition filed by activist Samir Zaveri, who himself had lost his legs in a railway accident. After a trauma centre was set up at Dadar railway station on the orders of the court, the HC in March 2013 ordered the Railways to consider setting up such rooms at other major stations — Churchgate, Mumbai Central, Bandra, Andheri, Borivli, Vasai, Palghar, Kurla, Thane, Dombivli, Kalyan, Karjat, Wadala, Vashi and Panvel — which had seen over a 100 accidents in the previous year.
Source-times of india

Why trains are getting delayed on Mumbai's Western Railway network

One of the key solutions to Western Railway’s problem of local train delays is lying in its backyard, but it can’t access it thanks to procedural delays, as the land belongs to the BMC. 

Wait goes on: The curve in the track (circled) at the Virar end of Borivli station. WR officials say delays on the network will come down once they get possession of the plot from the BMC. FILE PIC

WR needs a 144 sq m (1,550 sq ft) plot next to Borivli station to ease the gradient of a steep curve in the tracks at the Virar end, which delays local trains coming from that direction. Railway sources said that trains coming from Virar and headed towards Churchgate usually have to wait at least 5-7 minutes before entering Borivli, which is a big problem, especially during peak hours, when the headway between two trains is 3 minutes. This, coupled with the delays caused due to the movement of long-distance trains, has a cascading effect on local train schedules across the WR network.

The curve is especially steep in the track which leads to platform 6A of Borivli, preventing it from being used too much. Platforms 6 and 6A are divided by a single track and are used by only four and 12 trains respectively. During the morning peak hours, most local trains are forced to use platform 3 and 5, and trains headed towards Borivli have to wait for those ahead of them to vacate the platforms.

To straighten the tracks and reduce the delay significantly, WR needs to use the 144 sq m plot next to platform 6A, 
which is owned by the BMC. “We want to lessen the degree of curve on this end of Borivli station, which is causing problems for the smooth running of trains. Once we get this plot, the delays in train operations will come down,” said a WR official on condition of anonymity.

WR wants to use the plot to reduce the degree of the curve of the track leading to platforms 6 and 6A and modify the signalling system. They can also connect this track to the one leading to platform 5, to enable trains coming from Virar to enter platforms 5, 6 and 6A without having to wait. This will lead to smoother movement and also allow WR authorities to add additional train services in the future.

Officialspeak
“The file for acquiring this plot is lying with the BMC. We are ready to give them a plot of the same size in exchange,” said Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, WR.

BMC Additional Municipal Commissioner S V R Srinivas said, “We are at an advance stage of approvals for this plot. We are examining the other plot from the traffic point of view”.

900
The number of local trains arriving at, and departing from, Borivli every day

9
Number of platforms in Borivli station

Source-mid-day

Sanitary staff litter railway platform in protest

BAREILLY: At a time when every government and non government organization is leaving no stone unturned to take forward the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan' of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sanitary staff of Bareilly railway station blew the whole campaign into smithereens. 

Angry over alleged manhandling of their colleague by some passengers, the sanitary staff of Bareilly railway station after collecting garbage from a nearby dump spilled it all over the platform to express their ire. 

The issue was resolved and garbage removed from the spot after senior railway officials stepped in but not before forcing the passengers and their attendants to bear the filth and squalor for hours. 

According to sources, trouble arose when Railway Protection Force(RPF) staff apprehended five persons travelling illegally in the women's compartment of 54075 Express train on Sunday evening. They were booked under the Railway Act and lodged at the RPF lock-up of Bareilly railway station. 

In the evening, an RPF sweeper, Bhoorey, arrived at the spot to clean the lock-up. As he opened the gate, one of the accused, Hari Om, who is a resident of Fatehgunj West, ran out and fled towards the main gate of platform number 1. 

He was pursued hotly by Bhoorey as the sentry on duty was absent. After running some distance, the sweeper managed to nab Hari Om and pinned him down before raining a barrage of blows on him. 

The cries of Hari Om attracted some passengers who, perhaps, unaware about the whole issue caught hold of the sweeper and handed him a sound thrashing. Meanwhile hearing the commotion, a woman RPF officer reached the spot and took the runaway offender, Hari Om, into custody without caring to save the sweeper from the wrath of the passengers. 

Soon news spread about the incident. A large number of sanitary staff gathered at the spot and managed to rescue the sweeper even as his tormentors slipped away. 

Angered at the apathy of the RPF towards their colleague, they allegedly collected garbage from a nearby dump and littered it all over platform number 1 to register their protest. The stink of the garbage made it literally unbearable for passengers to stay on the platform for more than few minutes even as they anxiously waited for the arrival of their respective trains, said a passenger, Nazir. 

He said, "We made fervent pleas to the sanitary staff to spare us from this ordeal but to no avail. The deadlock was resolved after the arrival of senior railway staff who promised to take up the issue with the RPF authorities after which garbage was removed from the spot." 

Talking to TOI, station superintendant S K Sharma said "I was at the nearby railway yard when the incident took place and came to know about it from some junior staff after which I rushed to the spot and pacified the sanitary staff." 

On being asked about taking action against the erring sanitary staff, he said, "It will be taken only after ascertaining facts and the role of both railway and RPF staff in the incident".
Source-times of india

What cost his job? Sadananda Gowda fails to attract FDI into Railways ministry

NEW DELHI: Inability to cut through the rail bureaucracy and failure to come up with a roadmap on how he was planning to attract FDI into the crucial infrastructure ministry cost Sadananda Gowda his job in the railway ministry, according to sources in Rail Bhavan. 

ET learns that in the last meeting with all the Cabinet ministers, PM Modi had politely but firmly reminded the mild-mannered Gowda that his ministry had little to show in terms of achievements. Gowda struggled to cut through .. 

Read more at:

Suresh Prabhu says PM wants condition of railways to change, Parrikar seeks time to get going

LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI: Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday listed out passenger safety and customer satisfaction as his top priorities while defence minister Manohar Parrikar said he would focus on "targeted completion" of works to strengthen the armed forces.

Suresh Prabhu, who took over as the railway minister replacing SD Sadananda Gowda, said, "We have faced lots of challenges in running the railways in the past. We do have potential which has not been properly utilized."

"The Prime Minister has decided that the condition (of railways) has to change ... Our two focus areas will be customer service and railway safety as passenger safety is increasingly becoming an area of concern," he said.

Observing that the people have reposed lot of faith in the government, he said the steps they undertake in railways will be seen in due course of time.

"What we will do will be seen in due course of time, so no announcement will be made is the announcement," he said.

Prabhu said the economy is also dependent on railways. Railways is an integrating factor for the economy and, "if we work in this direction we can propel economic growth," he said.

With the public transporter having the largest workforce in the country, Prabhu said addressing their concerns will also be high on his agenda as they are the driving force behind the railway's journey.

Meanwhile, Parrikar, who on Monday filed nomination for Rajya Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh, said he will need some time to get acquainted with the ministry.

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar files nomination papers for Rajya Sabha from Lucknow. (PTI photo)

"My work is targeted completion of whatever is required to strengthen India through the defence forces," he told reporters even as he evaded queries about his portfolio.

"Defence Minister was defenceless against the press today, but I won't allow the country to be defenceless against the enemies," Parrikar quipped.

"I have become the defence minister I came to know around 11.35pm. Give me some time, let me study. Relationships between India and its neighbouring countries is a sensitive issue," he said while replying to a question.

"Only due to my lack of information ... because I was the chief minister of Goa, I was not the defence minister. I was not even in the Centre. Therefore, on this, give me a week to have a complete understanding. I will talk to the Prime Minister after that I will reply," he said.

"Unless I study the department properly, and it won't take much time ... after that I will reply," Parrikar said.

"I regret I can't reply on my portfolio as of today," he added.

Talking about the elections, Parrikar said he felt proud and lucky on getting a chance to represent Uttar Pradesh in the Rajya Sabha.

"After filing nomination for Rajya Sabha from this state I am feeling proud. This state, which has given big leaders, which is the land of Ram-Krishna, which is the starting point of the history of the country ... I got a chance to represent such a state, I consider myself lucky," he said.

He said he was grateful to the MLAs, the party and most importantly the people of UP.

"I assure that with best of my abilities, not only I will serve the nation, but also ensure that whatever my skills and abilities are, they are used to the maximum for UP. I guarantee this to you people," he said.
Source-times of india

19th century railway section in Assam hills yearns for heritage status


A 47-km portion encircling the picturesque hill station of Haflong has remained untouched, including its century-old buildings mostly made of stones and timber. (Source: Samudra Gupta Kashyap)

Even as the railways are currently engaged in replacing the 111-year old metre-gauge Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section into a broad-gauge track, a 47-km stretch of the historic line, literally forming a garland around Haflong, Assam’s only hill station, is waiting to be conferred heritage status. The Assam government meanwhile has written to the railways asking them not to dismantle it, so that it could be promoted as a tourist attraction.

While the 225-km Lumding-Badarpur Hill Section – often described as the “most spectacular mountain line of Indian Railways” – is currently in its last phase of gauge conversion – to be completed by April 2015 – a 47-km portion encircling the picturesque hill station of Haflong has remained untouched, including its century-old buildings mostly made of stones and timber. The 47-km portion has nine stations – Mahur, Migrendisa, Lower Haflong, Bagetar, Haflong Hill, Jatinga, Longrangjao, Mailongdisa and Harangajao – each one a heritage in its own right.

As a group of citizens of Haflong, highly concerned about preserving that 47-km stretch has asked the government to declare it a heritage track and promote it as a tourist attraction, the state government on its part has written to the Railways saying it was serious about retaining and promoting this 47-km stretch as a heritage track. The Hill Section that was considered as a “magnificent engineering feat” of the 19th century, the world’s steepest section (Harangajao-Jatinga) with a minimum gradient of 1:37 will continue to live once a final decision to preserve it is inked.

Officials at the Northeast Frontier Railway headquarters in Guwahati said they were waiting for a “concrete proposal” from the Assam government on how it wants to utilize the 47-km stretch that will be otherwise abandoned and dismantled. “While the Railway Board had recommended dismantling of the Mahur-Haragajao portion because it is not on the new BG alignment, we at NF Railways decided to ask the state government whether it wants us to retain it. The chief secretary replied in the affirmative. Now we are waiting for a concrete proposal from the Assam government,” NF Railway CPRO Sugato Lahiri said.

“The government has already asked the railways not to dismantle the 47-km stretch and the stations on it. We are drawing up a plan to preserve, maintain and promote this portion as a heritage track complete with steam engines and vintage salons,” Dhrubajyoti Hazarika, secretary, tourism, government of Assam told The Indian Express today.

Hazarika said while Jatinga, the village where birds mysteriously flock to commit suicide, has been a global attraction, all the other places along the track including Haflong town together would be promoted as a new package soon. While Haflong has an elevation of about 1685 feet, Jatinga is the tallest station in the Northeast, standing at 2156 feet above sea level.

Source-indian express

Konkan Railway sends an express message to Suresh Prabhu

Konkan Railway (KR) commuters and officials hope railway minister Suresh Prabhu will do the two things than can turn around the fortunes of KR, one of the country's most congested routes.
The optimism stems from the fact it's for the first time since the commissioning of the KR in 1998, a leader from the Konkan belt is becoming a railway minister.
The rail route, connecting the tourism-heavy areas of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala, is a one-line route creaking under the pressure of ever-increasing passenger and freight trains.
Officials told dna that they expect Prabhu to help KR with the Rs 700 crore it needs for electrification of its 741-km route and around Rs 1,500 crore for doubling the line between Mangalore and Udipi and Roha and Karanjadi.
A doubling survey, approved by the board of directors on October 29, has been sent to the railway board.
"These two works can actually change the dynamics of KR. We can take the capacity of KR from the current 68 trains (goods and passenger) per day to around 120. Electrification alone will save fuel to the tune of Rs 100 crore a year," said a senior official.
KR officials say doubling tracks will also mean creating new stations and converting the 28 stations, out of the 58 on KR, with two lines into those with a third line. A third line will allow trains to pass each other much faster at stations.
"KR has 58 stations. It means an inter-station distance of around 15 km -- higher than the ideal 10 km. A few new stations will allow us to run more trains," said the official.
Prabhu was four times MP from the Rajapur (now Sindhudurg- Ratnagiri) constituency. He did not contest the 2014 LS elections, however. KR officials said that Prabhu, a chartered accountant himself, would be able to understand the corporate accounting systems followed by KR and gives it some leeway to raise funds or loans from banks.
KR, which started off with a massive debt of Rs 2,775 crore, has now brought it down to Rs 1,500 crore. The third plan, which, of course, will require considerable interest from the state government as well, is the creation of a few ports along the Konkan coastline, which will allow KR to raise its freight traffic.
"The small profits we now have are from passenger traffic. Ports at Mumbai, Mangalore and Goa are saturated. Smaller ports will really boost the state as well as KR's fortunes. It is a challenge we expect the railways, the state as well as port ministry to take up," said the official.
Source-DNA

Safety, customer satisfaction will be my priority: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu



Suresh Prabhu on Monday took over as the new Railway Minister and said rail safety and customer service would be his priorities, as he seeks to unleash the true potential of the transport behemoth.

"We have faced lots of challenges in running the railways in the past. We do have potential which has not been properly utilised," he told reporters after assuming charge.

Prabhu, who took oath as a Cabinet minister on Sunday shortly after he joined BJP from Shiv Sena, replacing SD Sadananda Gowda who was shifted to the Law ministry in the reshuffle.

"The Prime Minister has decided that the condition (of railways) has to change. Our two focus areas will be customer service and railway safety as passenger safety is increasingly becoming an area of concern," he said.

Observing that the people have reposed lot of faith in the government, he said the steps they undertake in railways will be seen in due course of time.

"What we will do will be seen in due course of time, so no announcement will be made is the announcement," he said.

Prabhu said the economy is also dependent on railways.

Railways are an integrating factor for the economy and, "if we work in this direction we can propel economic growth," he said.

With the public transporter having the largest workforce in the country, Prabhu said addressing their concerns will also be high on his agenda as they are the driving force behind the railway's journey.
Source-business today

 

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