Terming the Union Railway budget people-friendly and development-oriented, the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday said that the decision to involve states to make the Railways the backbone of national connectivity would usher in a new era of cooperative federalism in the country.
In a statement issued here, the CM complemented the union railways minister Suresh Prabhu for presenting a farsighted budget that aims at improving amenities for passengers, enhancing customer services, besides, focusing on the financial self-sustainability of the ‘national carrier’.
He said that the decision of introducing ‘Perishable Cargo centers’ for the farmers at the important Railway stations was a revolutionary step aimed at facilitating the farmers. Likewise, Badal said that the announcement on embarking Kisan Yatra, a special travel scheme to help farmers to learn about new farming and marketing techniques, would also go a long way in bailing out the farmers from current agrarian crisis.
The CM said that the decision to upgrade 200 more Model stations across the country was another significant decision aimed at providing ultra modern facilities to the people. He said that the progressive decisions like augmentation in the carrying capacity of the passenger trains and effective complaint redressal system would further pave way to deliver passenger-centric services to the people. Badal said that for the first time in the history of the country thrust has been given on cleanliness, hygiene, comfort, accessibility, service quality and speed of trains.
The CM also welcomed decision of the railway minister to give thrust on skill development and encourage self-employment by promoting products made by Self Help Groups, consisting mainly of women and youth. “This will open new vistas of employment for our youth” he added.
Welcoming the proposal to develop Satellite Railway terminals in major cities with the twin purpose of decongesting the city as well as providing service to passengers residing in suburbs, the CM said that most of the Railway terminals located in big cities were amidst highly congested areas and this step would help in ensuring planned and integrated development of cities. He also lauded the decision to construct 970 ROB/RUBs and carry out safety-related works to phase out 3438 level crossings at a total Railway expense of Rs 6,581 crore.