Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his visit to Varanasi on Thursday marking ‘Good Governance Day’, categorically ruled out the privatisation of Indian railways.
His remarks came as he addressed a gathering at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) stadium after laying the foundation stone for the `300 crore expansion plan of the workshop.
Calling it the backbone of India’s economy, the PM said, “The only thing I associate with my childhood is the railways. So, I am more concerned about railways than you (railway employees).”
Dispelling fears of privatisation of railways, Modi said: “Some union members of the railways have the misconception that this government will privatise railways. These are all rumours.”
Right before his visit, 12 members of the DLW employees union were arrested as they planned to hold a demonstration against the privatisation of railways.
The PM added that financial and technical help is being sought to help modernise the railways.
“The railways can play a major role in the overall development of the nation due to its massive infrastructure and reach in remote regions,” Modi said.
Emphasising on his ‘Make in India’ campaign, PM Modi said that he intends opening four railways universities to help youth learn technical know-how. He announced his plans to utilise the vast resources of the railways for skill development amongst youth.
“Even a tiny village has a railway line passing through it and these stations have round-the-clock electrical supply,” said Modi. “Now, we plan to open skill development centres at all these railway stations… Just by adding one or two rooms and putting up necessary equipment, we will provide skill development training to youths.”