Panel moots safety cess on rail passengers

 A high-level safety review committee headed by nuclear scientist Anil Kakodkar has sought Rs 1 lakh crore in the next five years to modernise safety in the railways.

The committee wants complete change in safety scenario and has suggested Rs 5,000 crore should be collected as safety cess from passengers in a year.

The report that was presented to Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Friday is being viewed in political circles as a move to mount pressure on the finance ministry to increase budgetary support to crisis-ridden railways.

“If we do not get enough budgetary support, we have to mobilise our resources,” asserted Trivedi after receiving the report.

However, he made it clear that suggestions made by the committee would be looked into by the railways.

When asked whether he was in favour of charging safety cess, the minister said the committee’s has not made any final word. “We are considering all the options including

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