New Delhi: In a bid to revamp the Indian Railways, new Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, is mulling to form ‘station authority’ on the lines of the existing ‘airport authority’. A former pilot, Trivedi, is keen to realise his dreams of providing railway station with facilities similar to the airports.

Inaugurating the international rail equipment exhibition organised by the CII, Trivedi said, “The rail authority can be developed in the same way the airport authority has prospered. We can construct malls and multiplex, shopping complex, library, parking lot and offices at the railway station which will ease the burden of Railways as well as bring private participation into it.”

The Railways is in dire need of finances as the possibility of upgrading major stations into world class stations has been lost in rough terrain due to the extreme shortage of funds.

The country currently has 7,000 stations but none of them can boast of being world class. Though the New Delhi railway station is regarded as the best by the Railways, it still does not have separate stations for arrival and departure of trains.

Presenting an example of the Airport Authority, the Railway Minister said, “The Airport Authority provides so many facilities but still they are not short of money, but the Railways cannot even afford to provide basic amenities.”
Not supporting the idea of raising fares to accumulate more funds, he said, “Though money can easily be collected by raising fares but we must think out of the league. This would not be of much help as increasing train fares is not easy.”

He added, “If the nation wants to progress with more than 8 percent growth rate, the Railways would have to grow at 10-12 percent.”

Emphasising on the need for modernisation of Railways, he called for more investment in developing tracks, stations, signal system, rolling stock and safety.

(JPN/Bureau)