Expressing concern over its financial condition, railway minister Dinesh Trivedi on Friday said the PSU behemoth could go the Air India's way if the government fails to show the same resolve it is showing to bail out the national carrier.
He said government should "prioritise" its focus while considering Railways' financial condition as it adds to the GDP and affects directly the common man.
"I am afraid it (Indian Railways) can go Air India's way," he told reporters here while reminding of the government's pro-active approach to bail out Air India.
A GoM had recently decided to work out an overall bailout package of more than Rs 20,000 crore for Air India including infusing additional equity worth Rs 6600 crore and asking banks to work out its corporate debt restructuring.
"Government must sincerely consider to help railways at least on the safety issues" which he contended has been compromised due to its financial position.
His reaction to the reporters came after a high-level safety review committee headed by Anil Kakodkar presented its report to the Railways on Friday, suggesting an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore to upgrade its safety related infrastructure.
Trivedi said the government ambitious food security programme, which rests much on Railways for transporting food grains, would end up nowhere if the adequate budgetary support from Railways is not forthcoming to strengthen its operation infrastructure.
Statistics indicate that Railways is almost running in negative zone and a high operating ratio which is hovering around 100% is matter of grave concern for the national transporter.
100% operating ratio means railways earnings less than it spends.