Railway Minister Piyush Goyal asserted that the national transporter will never be privatized. But also mentioned that private investment should be encouraged for more efficient functioning of Indian Railways. While replying to a discussion on Demands for Grants for Indian Railways, the Railway Minister said in two years, there has been no death of any railway passenger due to a rail accident. He said that the national transporter has been putting enormous focus on the safety of its passengers. A PTI report quoted the Railway Minister’s statement that only when the public and private sectors work together, the country can progress towards high growth and create more employment opportunities.
It brings to focus interestingly that last year, the Railway Ministry had invited RFQ for the participation of the private sector for the operation of passenger trains over 109 OD pairs of Indian Railways routes through the introduction of 151 modern trains. The Railway Ministry had earlier informed that the 109 OD pairs have been formed into 12 clusters across the network of Indian Railways. Each of these trains will consist a minimum of 16 coaches. The project, which is said to be the first such initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over the Indian Railways network, would entail private sector investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.
Goyal clearly stated that Indian Railways will never be privatized. According to him, it is the property of every Indian citizen and will continue to remain so. The minister further said that Indian Railways will remain with the government of India. The investment in Indian Railways has been hiked by the Modi government to Rs 2.15 lakh crore in the financial year 2021-22, from an amount of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in the financial year 2019-20. He said that his ministry is focusing on passenger safety. There has been no passenger death in the last two years and the last passenger death that happened due to a train accident was in March 2019, the Railway Minister added.