The Union Govt is considering to float a company with the state governments to implement railway projects related to them, said Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu.
While inaugurating various railway projects from the BC Roy Auditorium in Sealdah station, Prabhu said West Bengal could play a major role in India’s growth.
He said that before attending the inauguration session, he had called up the chief minister Mamata Banerjee. He said both of them had agreed to meet each other after the Bangladesh tour to discuss railway projects and issues related to development of railways in Bengal.
"I am happy that Mamata Banerjee is in Bangladesh with our PM. This shows the paradigm shift in foreign policy, which is taking place now by taking the states on board," He added. He said that the West Bengal had received more budgetary allocation this year than during the UPA rule. He said that this showed how the Union Govt was giving the state its priority as a major contributor to the GDP.
During interaction with journalists, Prabhu said land is important to continue railway projects. "Whether for a sea port, airport or for the Railways, land is required. We need land for development of Railway infrastructure and for capacity expansion. But, getting land is becoming a complex issue, which needs to be sorted out jointly by the Union Govt and the states," he said. According to the railway leaflets distributed by the Eastern and South Eastern Railway, various railway projects are stalled due to non-availability of land. He said that the way for better rail connectivity was huge investment and cited the example of China.
He said that participation of state governments to ensure proper railway projects was very important. It was often seen that projects cleared by Delhi might not be viable for the states, said Prabhu. "To implement state specific projects we are inviting state governments to form a company and already got possitive gesture from 20 states," he said.
On railway safety, Prabhu said the Railway Protection Force (RPF) should prepare a national database of criminals. He also said that Government Railway Police (GRP) should be included in the ministry for better policing and greater safety for passengers.
On Saturday he inaugurated a printing press for railway tickets, Railway Sports Complex at Kachrapara, true colour display board at Sealdah station, Wifi facility at Howrah station, four new EMU services in Sealdah south section and completion of 219.43 kilometer of doubling work. He also appreciated the efforts by the general managers of Eastern and South Eastern Railways during the Rail Yatri Upbhokta Pakhwada.