Challenge to meet growing demands of public: Suresh Prabhu

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday expressed concerns over rising demands and expectations of public and said that it was a “challenge” for him which he was ready to “fight”.

In an interview with news channel ETV, he said: “Money is not a problem for the railways now. The problem is to meet the growing demands and expectations of the public. The demands continue to increase as you provide facilities.”

He added: “For example, after an area is added to the rail network, they will demand a high-speed super-fast train and so on. These demands will keep increasing. It’s a challenge for the railways. We will work harder and we are ready to fight for it.”

Commenting about the flagship Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, Prabhu said it would change the eco-system of the country.

“Bullet train played an instrumental role in the development of China. It will change the eco-system of our country as well. Speed increases connectivity which leads to business generation,” he said.

Prabhu also said that private investment was necessary to improve rail infrastructure but can’t completely rely on them.

“Investment is required in the railways. We are open for private investment in sectors where they (private players) are keen. We are engaging with the private players in many areas such as redevelopment of the stations. But we can’t completely rely on them. If we do this, then the problems will increase,” the Railway Minister said.

He added that he was hopeful that by 2020 passengers would get confirmed tickets.

“We are trying our best to improve the passenger services in the railways. Considering the present situation, I hope that by 2020 passengers will get confirmed tickets. But this is very challenging since the dependency on railway is also increasing,” he added.

The minister also talked about ending corruption in the railways and restructuring the Railway Board to improve its functioning.



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