KOLKATA: The Railways would soon announce a new policy aimed at developing the condition of stations by inviting "partners", Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said today.
"We are coming out very soon with a regime for station development by inviting partners," Prabhu said at a function here without elaborating further on who these partners would be.
"There are partners who can look after station development as the stations have huge potential," he said later at a press conference.
The minister said, "If we get interested partners for developing the stations, then it is welcome," adding that the Railways would have to come out of "unnecessary restrictive practices" which were "thwarting its growth".
Primary job of the Railways was to provide transport, he said.
Prabhu said that the Railways had been suffering from "massive" lack of investments.
"We must do the same thing as China had done. China had made huge investments in developing the railway network.
Railways will have to invest substantially," he said.
This, he said, would help in building a world class cargo movement network. "An investment of Rs 8.5 lakh crore had been planned for the next five years," Prabhu said.
Prabhu also said that the Railways were also inviting the state governments to form companies jointly contributing capital and take up projects considered important for the respective states.
"We have already MoUs in this regard with 20 state governments and urging all to do so," he said.