Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed by voice vote the demand for grants by railways for the 2016-17 fiscal, with railway minister Suresh Prabhu announcing that the government will create a Rs 1 lakh crore safety fund to enhance safety measures.
Responding to a debate, Prabhu said efforts were on to restructure Indian Railways, which will bring about more efficiency, but said it cannot be achieved without cooperation from everyone.
“I have announced plans for setting up Rs 1 lakh crore safety fund (Rashtriya Rail Sanrakshan Kosh). We have taken up the proposal with the ministry of finance. We are trying to leverage it through some kind of security surcharge,” he said.
“It is the beginning of a long march,” he said as he recalled the steps taken by the ministry to substantially increase capital expenditure to Rs 1.21 lakh crore and improve rail safety.
Prabhu said the ministry was preparing a plan till 2030 for reorganising, restructuring and rejuvenating railways. “All states, members of Parliament, and stakeholders will be consulted for making the plan till 2030.”