Railways will work with a human face, says Mamata

Our pleasant journey: Her top priority

Railways will work with a human face, says Mamata


“By according too much priority on commercial aspects, we can’t possibly afford to ignore the social obligations. I’ll sincerely strive for a proper balancing of the two sides,” she announced at the Howrah station complex here to mark the inauguration of a superfast express christened as Kandari, to the popular sea resort Digha in East Midnapore district.

Stating that she is constrained to speak on the various measures the Railways have been mulling to introduce in view of the Railway Budget slated early next month, she pointed out that increased passenger amenities, punctuality in the running of trains, cleanliness and an extra dose of good behaviour from the railway staff, employees and guards are some of her top priorities.

Referring to her interaction with the mediapersons in New Delhi who were critical of the lack of safe drinking water in the rail stations, she declared that her department has been working on providing ‘Janata Khana’ which will be cheap yet not short on quality and safe drinking water in the stations across the country.

“We have to remember that a large number of people from the weaker sections travel by train and they don’t have enough money to purchase costly food,” she said. In fact, she also took to task the officials of the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for fixing a “steep charge” for the food that will be made available in the Kandari Express. “We’ll reduce the price as they’ve been fixed without our knowledge,” she added.

Special trains

Announcing that the railways will run as many as 66 special trains to Puri from various parts of India to mark the Rathayatra, the rail minister said the railways will shortly unveil such packages for special trains to meet the passenger rush to other holy sites and places in the country, coinciding with respective festivals.

Two special trains to Ajmer Sharief on the occasion of Urs have been announced to meet the rush of pilgrims from the minority community from the Eastern region and Bangladesh and they will leave Howrah on June 24 and 25.

The new Kandari Express which was later flagged off by the minister, will cover a distance of 188.4 kms between Howrah and Digha in three hours and forty minutes.

‘Rlys have stood by the Aila-hit victims’

Howrah, DH News Service : The Indian Railways have risen up to the occasion and rendering yeoman service in the cyclone-hit region of the Sunderbans by conducting medical and relief camps, Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Sunday.

The railway staff and employees have raised money and other essentials to stand by the victims of the Aila-affected people.

“They’ve organised ten thousand additional pieces of dhoti and sari apart from rice and dal which will dispatched on Monday to the district magistrate in South 24 Parganas and the chief Disaster Management Centre operating there,” she told a gathering here to
mark the inauguration of a new express train to Digha.

On Saturday night, she called on the ailing former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu and claimed that the veteran Marxist congratulated her on her party’s thumping win in the Lok Sabha polls.

“I had gone there basically to enquire about his health. I know he is not keeping well. He congratulated me. But I think he has been tutored not to say anything more,” Banerjee said after coming out of Basu’s residence Indira Bhawan in the satellite township of Salt Lake.

“Someone else also stood by Basu,” she said, implying that Basu’s party (CPM) did not allow her to have a one-on-one with the nonagenarian leader.

Banerjee said: “I did not go there to discuss politics. But yes, I might have have had such discussions if he was alone. But someone else was also present”.

Later, she went to the residence of another former state chief minister Siddhartha Shankar Ray. The octogenarian Ray, a leading legal luminary, was the last Congress chief minister of the state.

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