Sunday, June 13, 2021
HomeColumnFDI in railways gets a green signal

FDI in railways gets a green signal

Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a great psychologist. Modi knows that Indians are fascinated by bullet trains and the gourmet food hence he made a provision for it in the railway budget. Modi is aware that the funds required for the expansion of the railway network cannot be financed through the public sector alone hence it has to rely on the private sector too. The Britishers had constructed the Victoria Terminus station our politicians have renamed it as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The Railways were largely built during the British reign. Growth in the route network has been slow. There were 53,996 kilometers (33,540 miles) of routes in 1947 when India became independent, and rail tracks now cover 65,000 km. That’s an addition of around 11,000 km in 67 years, or 164 km annually.

Passengers were saying that Deccan Queen now takes 15 minutes more to reach its destination hence Modi is keen to go for FDI in railways. He should assign the work of developing the bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad to Japanese firms if the project really needs to take off.

When there is private participation, you can shun bureaucracy and red tapism. Modi is aware that government employees love to relax so he doesn’t want them to worry and take their salary but vote for him. He will try to expedite the work through private participation. Now, you cannot dislodge him from power for the next five years.

Why you want a bullet train? Recently, I commuted twice by special trains and they were delayed by more than four hrs. Railways want to outsource cleanliness work to private parties. If this happens then what will the railway employees designated for this work do? Relax and vote for Modi. Passengers should be able to reach their destination safely and as per scheduled time. We are not travelling for eating, are we?

More emphasis must be laid on improving safety, punctuality and cleanliness instead of branded food, food courts and bullet trains. Railways were milked by the coalition partners as they used to oblige people from their constituency by providing employment to them. No efforts were made to upgrade the railway network and raise finances for the same. The railway minister had failed to mention that he we will take strict action against corrupt officials who fritter away the valuable resources?

Sonia Gandhi is facilitating BJP longevity (everlasting) by persisting with Rahul Gandhi. Opposition in the Lok Sabha has vanished for the next few years at least. It is good for the government as it can function unhindered.

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