Former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi on Tuesday took a swipe at the Centre's bullet train project, saying it should care about the suburban local commuters first, who are forced to travel like "cattle" in peak hours in Mumbai.
Trivedi pointed out the jampacked and highly overloaded suburban local trains in Mumbai and said, "Just see how the people are forced to travel like cattle. Even cattle travel better than this."
Debunking the idea of bullet trains, he said, "First think about these people, and then talk something else. On one side we talk about Chandrayaan and on the other side these people are forced to travel like this."
"First make common man's travel dignified and then talk about bullet trains. The bitter part of the truth is that the foundation of Indian Railways is shaken," he added.
Trivedi was in the city as a member of Lok Sabha Petition Committee comprising 15 MPs under the chairmanship of Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
He claimed that the Indian Railways was heading the "Air India way".
"I don't want to get into the political system but the very fact is that Railway is bankrupt now and it is going the Air India way," Trivedi said in reply to a query on what was his assessment over the present government's efforts to bring structural reforms in Indian Railways.
"Many things have gone very serious with the Railways... it is not going in the direction where it should go," he told PTI.
Stating that Indian Railways has all the potential to carry forward India on the path of progress, he further said we can learn a lot from China which has brought a paradigm shift in the rail sector.
"China was once lagging behind us by 15 years, but see now what has happened there. It has leaped 100 years ahead," he said.
The ex-minister also said that Indian Railways has competent and efficient officers who have all the capability to reform it.