Railway could go Air India way if money not pumped in: Trivedi

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi today cautioned railway could go the Air India way if money was not pumped in the cash-strapped national transporter, as an official committee proposed cess to generate money to upgrade safety mechanism.

Trivedi said government should "prioritise" its focus while considering railways' financial condition as it adds to the GDP and directly affects the common man.

"I am afraid it (Indian Railways) can go Air India's way," he told reporters here while reminding of the government's bail-out to Air India.

Trivedi said "government must sincerely consider helping railways at least on the safety issues" which he contended has been compromised due to its financial position.

The Railway Minister's comments came on a day when a high-level safety review committee set up by him concluded in its report that railways is on "the brink of collapse" and suggested a slew of measures including imposing safety cess on passengers to meet the upgradation expenditure and curtail introduction new trains.
The Kakodkar committee said railways' finances were on the "brink of collapse" and advocated against introduction new trains as line capacity has been "severely constrained" due to addition of more and more services year on year.

The committee in its report has suggested an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore to upgrade its safety-related infrastructure, especially focusing on the 19,000km high density trunk route.

Statistics indicate railways is almost running in a negative zone and a high operating ratio which is hovering around 100 per cent.

Hundred per cent operating ratio means railways earnings are less than it expenditures.

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