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No plan to privatise Railways: Piyush Goyal

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NEW DELHI:

Refuting reports of government planning to privatise Railways, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said Indian Railways is and will always remain ‘a property of people of India’.

Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Goyal said,’ Railways requires Rs 50 lakh crore as people from all states come to us with the demand of a railway line in their area. So to meet all these demands, to meet up the cleanliness standards, to meet new challenges, we need to give better services for which there is outsourcing of services.’

Stressing his point, Mr Goyal said, ‘Railways is and will remain property of people of India. However, there is a proposal to outsource the commercial and onboard services of a few trains and also to permit private players to induct modern rakes to run trains on select routes with an objective to provide improved service delivery to passengers.’

Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi said, ‘the interest of Railways will be protected. We are not going in for privatisation. It is only corporatisation. The job of already employed people will not be affected.’ On number of accidents on railway tracks, Mr Angadi said, ‘Safety is our priority.’ ‘Ownership right will remain with Railways always. Control is with Indian Railways and rolling stock people,’ he added.

Highlighting women safety of Railway platforms during odd hours, Angadi said special rooms have been made on almost all stations for the same. Also, station masters are available every time on the platforms for any further help if the need be.

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