FOR THE first time executives of Railways had addressed a seminar in Chennai, welcoming people to partner in the growth of the various facets of railways. The Indian rail system is often criticised for its poor addition to length, post independence. Under the realms of poor performance, this mode had to give way to other faster means like roadways and airways.
Accounting for 6 per cent of the total employment in the country, railways transports 23 million people through 12,000 passenger trains and carry 3 million tonnes of freight. Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Railways, had recently announced that the Centre is planning to invest Rs 8.5 lakh crore in the next five years. “Railways plan to expand operation: daily passenger capacity from 21 million to 30 million; annual freight carrying capacity to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020 and to increase the track length by 30 per cent,” said Ashok K Agarwal, General Manager, Southern Railways. Southern Railway is the only unit where the passenger services earn more than freight. Railways plan to introduce modern technologies in several spheres and welcomes private partners to take part in its growth.