Set to gather further steam in the next one year with a huge surplus of Rs 1,00,000 crore, Indian Railways will begin the much-awaited Kolkata-Dhaka service from April 14.
"In a historic decision, we have decided that the Kolkata-Dhaka train service would begin from the Bengali New Year (April 14)," Railway Minister Lalu Prasad said replying to a debate on the Railway Budget 2008-09 which was passed by the Lok Sabha.
Hitting out at the previous NDA government for poor performance of the railways and inability to pay even Rs 2473 crores dividend, Prasad said when the UPA government completes its term next year the Railways would have a total surplus of about Rs 1,00,000 crore. It has already generated a surplus of Rs 69,000 crore in the past four years.
"We are not dependent any more on the Finance Ministry or the government for money as we have our own resources," Prasad said winding up a marathon debate.
He said Indian Railways which has reached number three position in the world would aspire to occupy the number one slot in the near future.
The minister said tendering process for the ambitious Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) is over and the work on the projects would begin soon.
Prasad said resources for the projects were no more an issue. "Irrespective of funding from foreign institutions, Railways has decided to go ahead with the East and West DFCs," he said.