Rubbishing talk that efforts are on to privatise the Indian Railways, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she would be the last person to do so.
"In some quarters there is mischievous talk that we are trying to privatise the railways. I'll be the last person to privatise the Indian Railways. There will be no privatisation or commercialisation of the railways," Banerjee said at the 54th Annual Railways National Award Function in Kolkata.
"We'll make the railways so strong that no one can undermine this organisation. We'll ensure nobody can touch our employees as well. We are passing through an important stage.
"It's the railway employees who take care of the safety and security of this huge organisation," she said.
Reiterating her oft-repeated stand, Banerjee said: "Indian Railways is just not a transport organisation, it has social obligations too. Whenever there's a natural calamity, we always reach there to help out people in distress.
"The entire Indian Railways is a family, and without a humane approach this family cannot work. We'll continue to work together for the benefit of the railways in future, and all those who perform will be rewarded by the Indian Railways."
She said the railways had already identified 112,000 acres of land which would be used for development work in the coming days.