New Delhi: Amidst intense opposition from the states over the amendment in Railway Protection Force (RPF) Act 1957, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday said that the final shape to the law will be given after consulting the state governments.

“The states will be consulted before giving final shape in the crucial RPF Act. The amendment bill will include all the possible provisions discussed by the Centre and state,” Trivedi said.

Terming the amendment in the RPF Act need of the hour, the Union Minister said, “We cannot remain lackadaisical and delay the amendment as it is important for curbing the escalating incidents of robbery in the trains.”

He further said that both the governments are responsible for ensuring safety of the rail passengers. “I hope that neither states nor the Centre will act as a stumbling block in this direction,” Trivedi asserted.

It is noteworthy, the proposed RPF amendment bill is facing stringent opposition from the states especially the non-Congress governments who are calling it an attack on the federal structure of the country.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalitha were among the Chief Ministers who had strongly opposed the proposed amendment bill.

Moreover, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also expressed his disagreement over the move and had recently written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in this regard.

Notably, the Mamata Banerjee led West Bengal government is supporting the amendment.

Observing the increasing incidences of robbery and vandalism in train, the Railway Ministry had proposed amendment in the RPF Act and hence is mulling to empower the Railway Protection Force (RPF) with police powers.

It is worth mentioning, the Congress has distanced itself from the controversy maintaining that the Rail Ministry is the nodal agency to look into the matter.