Mamata Banerjee tables White Paper on health of Railways

Mamata Banerjee tables White Paper on health of Railways

RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav along with party leader P C Gupta showing a paper while to the media regarding Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee's tabling of White Paper in the Lok Sabha, at Parliament House (PTI)

Refusing to react to RJD chief Lalu Prasad's comment on the document tabled in Parliament, Banerjee said it was not targeted against anybody and only meant to strengthen Railways.

"This is a status paper and I respect every body. I think the system should be strengthened for the commercial, financial and operational purposes," Banerjee told reporters outside Parliament House.

After the tabling of the White Paper, which has countered Prasad's claim of profit by the PSU, the former Railway minister rubbished the report dubbing it "a black paper and no paper at all".

She said "it is not the first time that Railways have come out with a White Paper. My predecessors including Nitish Kumar have brought it seven times in the past."
Elaborating her plan of action, she said "There is a demand that coaches should be good, platforms should be good, neat and clean. So there should be some plan of action - long term and short term."

She, however, said paucity of time caused delay in projects, adding, "time was short. Within six months we placed the budget including supplementary demand also. Whatever was promised in the budget, almost 90 per cent work has been done."

About 'Vision 2020', Banerjee said "Indian Railways was number two in the world at one point. Now, it has slipped to fourth position. We want it to become number one again."

Admitting that a few projects are pending, she said some projects are being taken up for socio-economic reasons. We want to reach out to interior areas and increase our line capacity but there are no funds."

Comparing with China, she said the neighbouring country's Railways is getting three lakh billion dollars for the development of its infrastructure, adding, "If we get adequate fund from Finance Ministry and Planning Commission then we can also go for development work in a bigger way.

About other plans of the Railways, she said there will be auto hubs, logistic parks, Dedicated Freight Corridor in the near future.

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