New Delhi: Sandwiched between the TMC and its ally the UPA, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Tuesday proposed an independent body to look into the fares of the Indian Railways. He said the growth of the Railways is only possible if it is free from politics and the fare is decided by regulatory body instead of the Railway Minister. He also pitched for the restructuring of the Railway board.

Talking to the reporters on the sidelines of a programme organized by FICCI, Trivedi said, “I have always stressed that MPs should not fix their own salary. Similarly I advocate that the rail fares should not be decided by Railways itself.”

Stating he is not under any pressure, The Railway Minister said, “I have no pressure from any end. I am speaking in the context of long term benefits. It should be the duty of the Parliament to decide rail fares.”

Criticising Mamata’s Vision 2020 he said, “It’s useless to make announcements of such projects or polices which cannot be implemented. The moment another government comes to power the entire policy will be is put on the backburner. Whatever has been passed in the Parliament should come into force. We have to start somewhere. A regulatory body should be formed with ample rights to decide railway fares.”

Stressing on the reformation of the Railway board, Trivedi said, “The focus of the Railway board is limited to train operations, whereas it should concentrate more on the requirements of the passengers. The safety of the Passengers should be the utmost concern of the Railways which can only be ensured by modernisation of the Railways. But in the present structure, this is not possible.”

JPN/Bureau