BENGALURU: The Railway Ministry is keen on taking up infrastructure work at numerous stations in the South Western Railway zone on a priority basis in the near future, said Union Minister of State for Railways and Communication Manoj Kumar Sinha.
He was in the city for the last two days in connection with BRICS Communication Ministers Summit. In a quick chat with Express, Sinha spoke of the huge impact private-public partnership was having on Indian Railways.
Elaborating on the 400 railway stations across the country that Railways had selected to develop as ‘smart stations’ with private assistance, Sinha said, “Development of Habibganj railway station in Bhopal has been taken up by a private developer only. Work at a few other stations too have been taken up through private companies and are making good progress.”
The Minister said, “Of course, there are many stations in the Hubballi Zone (read SWR Zone) also. In near future, I think it will be taken up on a priority basis.” He did not specify the stations.
Tapping of non-ticketing revenue in a big way will help the progress of Indian Railways, the Minister said. “World over, countries which are making profits in the railway sector have tapped into their non-ticketing revenues,” he said. Mobilising revenue through advertisements and goods transportation are a priority. In this connection we are keen on private freight terminals, he added.
On the sudden appointment of Station Directors for 12 major railway stations including Bengaluru, Sinha said, “In the case of big stations, there is a need for someone to coordinate various departments, someone who will be responsible for the station. Big stations like Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru need a senior officer to manage the station.” This is different from the role of a Divisional Railway Manager who will be in-charge of the entire Division, he added.