Vaishnaw rules out privatisation of railways

Deccan Chronicle.  | Narendar Pulloor

Nation, Politics

Former BJP MLA N.V.S.S. Prabhakar felicitates Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw at the Shyama Prasad Mookerjee Bhavan, BJP headquarters in Hyderabad for sanctioning Rs.89 crore to complete the Cherlapally railway terminal work. (DC)

 HYDERABAD: Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday ruled out the privatisation of Indian railways.

Asking IT minister K.T. Rama Rao to keep track of statistics before criticising the Centre, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was giving utmost importance to railways. Works like laying of new lines, electrification and doubling had increased by almost 10 times compared to the pace of the previous government, he said.

The Union minister castigated the BRS government for not cooperating in the execution of railway projects earmarked for Telangana. “Land acquisition is critical for railways but the state has done precious little on this front, he said. The state government is focused on other things and not concerned about infrastructure development,” Vaishnaw said.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, the Union minister said that while the united Andhra Pradesh received a mere Rs 886 crore, today Telangana state has got an allocation of Rs 4,418 crore. Projects worth Rs 29,581 crore are under progress, he said.

The coach factory at Kazipet needed 160 acres of land but the state was only allocating 150 acres and it did not allocate any land for the wagon factory in Kazipet, he explained.

The Union minister said that 39 railway stations would be developed in Telangana, besides Secunderabad and Cherlapally. He said that 20 MMTS trains will be introduced on the Secunderabad-Medchal route soon. Vande Bharat Express trains have been reporting 120 per cent occupancy rate, he said, adding that a centre of excellence will be coming up in Hyderabad.

Following the success of Vande Bharat Express trains, the Union government is planning to introduce Vande Metro services with stress on human safety, he said.

BJP state leaders G. Premender Reddy, N.V.S.S. Prabhakar, P. Sudhakar Reddy, N.V. Subhash and others were present.