New Delhi: Railway Minister Mukul Roy, who had earlier expressed concern over delay in execution of projects, on Monday said a special monitoring mechanism would be put in place to expedite completion of work. "Special monitoring mechanism would be put in place to expedite pending projects which are essential for railways growth and modernisation," Roy said at the 57th Railway week function here.

Roy also said they would lay emphasis on filling up vacant posts especially in safety category and take measures for staff welfare.

"I would also like to assure that I will seek to fast pace national projects like railway network in Jammu and Kashmir and North Eastern region which will further help in national integration," he said.

Touching on the vital issue of revenue generation, he said innovative methods would be devised for internal generation of resources and mopping up revenue through non-conventional means like PPP initiative, advertising in railway locations and utilising vast vacant land and air space available with railways.

Roy noted the rise in work expenses due to various factors like increase in staff salary and electricity tariffs and losses due to agitations and ongoing economic slowdown coupled with ban on export of iron ore in Odisha and Karnataka have put a lot of pressure on railways internal resources.

He said vision document 2020 presented by former Railway
Minister Mamata Banerjee has laid a roadmap for development of railways and is a "guiding document for all of us...I am committed to continue the work on the agenda".

Roy underlined that his vision is to see a "profitable, efficient, safe and corruption free railways with a special emphasis on its social commitments".

Chairman Railway Board Vinay Mittal said despite global economic slowdown and other factors, Railways succeeded in meeting its freight loading target of 970 million tonne and also exceeded financial target in freight earnings.

He said Railways' total earnings in 2011-12 were Rs 1,03,158 crore which is Rs 8632 crore more than last year. Pointing towards Railways' commitment of providing connectivity to far flung and backward areas, Mittal said Railways achieved 727 km of new lines, 856 km of gauge conversion and 752 km of doubling and will continue to strive to come close to the targets set in Vision 2020.

Roy gave away the shields and awards to railway staff and officers for their achievements in their respective fields.

(Agencies)