Road transport and highways minister CP Joshi on Monday took additional charge of the railway ministry following the exit of Trinamool Congress' Mukul Roy.
Joshi is MP from Bhilwara in Rajasthan.
Though this is only an additional charge for Joshi, the key
infrastructure ministry has returned to the Congress after 17 long years.
CK Jaffer Sharief was the last railway minister from the Congress (1991-95).
Roy resigned from the cabinet Friday along with five other Trinamool ministers of state after their party withdrew support to the UPA over the government's economic measures.
'Safety of passengers top priority'
Newly-appointed Railway minister CP Joshi on Monday said safety of passengers will be his top priority, along with modernisation and improvement in passenger amenities.
Joshi, who has been given additional charge of railways after TMC withdrew support to the UPA government, said he will set the agenda for his ministry after holding discussions with railways officials.
Talking to reporters after his maiden visit to Rail Bhawan in New Delhi, Joshi said, "Safety will be my top priority, along with passenger amenities and modernisation of rail infrastructure."
"The aim is that railways have an active role in India's economic growth," he said.
Asked about the extra burden on railways due to rollback of the proposed hike in passenger fares, the minister said, "It is too early to talk (about it). I will discuss these issues with my officials. Let me first understand the ministry."
Railways would have made Rs. 4,000 crore from the proposed fare hike which would have also taken care of the financial crunch being faced by it.
Railways is also facing challenges on fronts like safety and modernisation of infrastructure.
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