Sam Pitroda refutes reports on rail fare hike | india | Hindustan Times
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Sam Pitroda refutes reports on rail fare hike

india Updated: Jan 25, 2012 20:13 IST
Sam Pitroda

Adviser to Prime Minister and Chairman of a High Level Committee on Railways, Sam Pitroda, on Wednesday refuted reports that the committee had recommended a 25% hike in rail fare and freight charges.

"The committee has not finalised and submitted the report," Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.

The committee discussed many things for the modernisation of railways and reports that the committee had recommended for fare hike were incorrect, said Pitroda, who is also the mentor of Kerala government for infrastructure development.

Pitroda, who held discussions with chief minister Oommen Chandy on various development initiatives, said the state should take Public Private Participation route to attract capital investments in the state for development projects.

"If the state packages its projects properly, people would be ready to invest in the state", Pitroda said, adding, "what was really needed for implementing projects is political will."

Pitroda said Kerala has a legacy of system similar to that in West Bengal. The state has to change according to times and accept the fact of privatisation and globalisation, he said.

Coastal waterways development, setting up a Knowledge City, Expanding e-governance, modernisation of traditional industries, improving vocational education, and health insurance scheme and a high-speed train corridor were among ten development schemes put forward by Pitroda's team to the state.

The team would come back to the state within 90 day with a 'white paper' on these projects and discuss with the state government to finalise those to be taken up, Pitroda said.

Chandy said the state would hold an all party meet to arrive at an agreement on the proposal of a High Speed Rail corridor.

Stating that Kerala has changed, Chandy said number of work days lost due to labour trouble had come down in the state.

Trade Unionism has become a thing of the past and people of the state want development, Chandy added.