Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal on Monday said that there were no plans to privatise the railways, reported PTI. “Let me make it very clear that there are no plans to privatise railways, either now or ever,” he said while addressing a press conference on the achievements of his ministry over the past four years.
His comments came after railway unions expressed concern that the Indian Railways was being handed over to private entities after it sought foreign investment in technological upgrades and modernisation, reported PTI.
Goyal said land acquisition problems pertaining to the bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad would be resolved through dialogue, reported The Indian Express. “The bullet train project is on track,” PTI quoted Goyal as saying. “In this country there are always issues linked to any developmental project and new ideas. But we have to find solutions and move forward.”
Goyal said that suburban rail networks in Mumbai and Bengaluru had received major investments for upgrades and infrastructure, according to a statement released by the ministry. He said the average pace of commissioning
of new lines has increased by 59% under the current government – from 4.1 km per day between 2009 and 2014 to 6.53 km per day between 2014 and 2018.
The minister also launched two mobile applications – Rail Madad for customers to register complaints and Menu On Rails through which passengers can check meals being offered on-board trains.