On a visit to his constituency here, Modi recalled his childhood days when he had sold tea near a railway station, saying, "I have an association with Railways that is older than what most of Railway employees can claim to have.”
    
"There is a misunderstanding that Railways is being privatised. However, I want to make it clear that we are not privatising Railways. We cannot go in this direction. You don't have to worry. It is neither our wish nor thinking," he said, asking the unions not to pay heed to "rumours" in this regard.
    
The Prime Minister made it clear that he planned to utilise the enormous capital available with business establishments within the country as well as abroad for improving the infrastructure.
    
"We need to understand and appreciate the potential of the Railways' huge infrastructure which, if utilised properly, can transform the country's economy," he said.
    
He was speaking at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), on the outskirts of the city, where he inaugurated a project for expansion of the workshop and also dedicated to the nation a 4500 horse-power air-conditioned passenger train engine.
    
"We can take the example of a village where there is a railway station through which very few trains pass. Now the existence of the station would naturally result in good electricity supply,” he said.
    
"If we construct a few rooms in the vicinity, we can use these for setting up skill development centres which can work wonders for the unemployed youths in the village and nearby areas," Modi said.
    
Modi said Railways can be made an attractive career option for many talented young people.
    
"For that we would need to bring in technological upgradation and better human resource management. It is for this purpose that we have decided to set up four Railway universities across the country," he said.
    
"At these universities, young men who have an interest in Railways and its operations can get best-possible training before they get a job," Modi added.
    
The Prime Minister, who also inaugurated a project for expansion of the DLW workshop, said, "This project should be seen as an important part of my government's Make in India campaign.”


"I feel proud to have dedicated to the nation the modern rail engine which, I am told, has 96 percent of its components indigenously built,” Modi said.
    
"I have got an assurance from officials here that efforts will be made so that even the remaining four per cent are developed here,” he said.
    
"We have come a long way since the days when we had to import foodgrains from other countries," the Prime Minister said.
    
He said that the country has come a long way and the dream of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, of self-sufficiency in food, has been realised.
    
"We must now dream of fulfilling all our needs on our own strength and leave behind the current times wherein we are importing all sorts of things from defence equipment to teargas shells," Modi added.
    
The Prime Minister, however, allayed fears over introducing private and foreign investment for improving railway infrastructure and said, "why must we increase the burden on common man's pocket for improving services, upgrading technology and expanding infrastructure.
    
"Why not utilise the vast funds that is available with business groups be it here or outside the country,” Modi said.
    
"Please have no fear. If a foreign company contributes in improving the condition of our railway stations and in the bargain erects a skyscraper in the vicinity, the country will be the ultimate gainer,” he said.
    
"We need to look at novel ways to improve Railways. That is why I have decided to use the funds at my disposal under the MPLAD scheme for the laying down more benches at the stations in Varanasi," Modi added.

Latest News from India News Desk