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No privatization of railways, says Mamata

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said there was no likelihood of privatizing Indian Railways, even as she admitted that several projects are not being implemented for want of funds.

delhi Updated: Jun 23, 2010 21:53 IST

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said there was no likelihood of privatizing Indian Railways, even as she admitted that several projects are not being implemented for want of funds.

The minister was speaking at the meeting of the consultative committee of members of parliament for the railway ministry on "Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Railways".

A press release said the minister "reiterated that there will be no privatization of Indian Railways".

She told the committee members that there were "many socially desirable railway projects which are not being implemented because of the shortage of funds".

Describing PPP as an instrument of mobilizing revenue, Banerjee said there was a need to adopt new vision and new thinking for the development of the railways and these have been outlined in the 'Indian Railways Vision 2020'.

She suggested that railway land, not required for immediate operations, could be used for setting up manufacturing facilities as well as for hospitals, medical colleges and training institutions.

Further, the minister also noted that the interests of railway employees and users were being "fully protected" and also "substantially advanced" through the new initiatives.

Vivek Sahai, chairman of the railway board, made a presentation on PPP proposals received by the railways.