Paswan flexes muscles against lapses

| 25 August 1997 23:18 IST

The railway ministry seems to have geared up to systematise the Indian railways, by taking stern action against the officers responsible for lapses and waste of funds.

After suspending six railway officials and dismissing one in Delhi, Railway Minister Ram Vilas Paswan took on-the-spot-action against the general manager of BMU production unit at Perambur.

He announced it in Goa, after inaugurating a new rail car on Konkan railway sector in Goa, as the brand new rail car had already been looking old when reached Goa. "I will not allow waste of public money in such a manner", he declared at the function.

Paswan seems to be worried about the diminishing standard of Indian Railways, which is supposed to have one of the best railway network in the world. "The budget is not utilised properly, whether in floating tenders, manufacture or maintenance. We are thus fixing responsibility now", he told the journalists later on.

The railway ministry is also expected to take a decision within a month on amending the 80-year old act regarding safety measures, as it has been creating lot of hurdles while new technology does not demand such provisions today. The problem has arisen along 24-km stretch of Vasco-Londa sector in Goa, due to which the converted railway gauge is still not commissioned.

Paswan however seems to be very happy with the results of forming the Konkan Railway Corporation in terms of quality work and speedy completion of work despite all sorts of hurdles. He has also favoured forming such more corporations to expand and run the suburban service in metropolitan cities.

While informing the journalists that cabinet had already approved formation of another corporation in Delhi to build a suburban railway project worth Rs 6000 crore, Paswan has also given green signal for one more corporation in Calcutta on the same lines.

He has however denied that the railway ministry is objecting to such a corporation running the railway network in Mumbai, including expansion of its suburban network. "Their proposal to hand over even operations of railways to them is not acceptable to us as several other inter-state trains also run on the same line", he clarified.

While lauding the KRC's attempts to recruit several women as station masters etc, he has also appealed them to recruit one third women in the corporation and set an example for the whole country. He also announced that railway tickets would be now made available at all international airports to facilitate the foreign tourists.

Paswan also put an end to the controversy, started by Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, over starting Konkan railway service from Dadar. "It will now start from VT station from 1 September without making any changes in timings", he announced.

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