With a number of rail accidents putting the government under fire, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said railways will complete all track renewal projects by 2017-18. Reiterating that the safety is the highest priority, Goyal said he has given strict directions to all officials that no one, even if they receive a call from him, should give a green signal to a train stopped due to a traffic block for track renewal work.
“All track renewal projects will be completed by the end of financial year 2017-18. Track renewal is an urgent necessity for the safety and it has been delayed because of inadequate supply of tracks. We could never meet the target. But I have diverted all the new tracks we have procured for the renewal projects,” Goyal told a group of journalists in BJP headquarters.
“Track renewal is our topmost priority and there is no restriction on the budget. I hope 2017-2018 will be the first time in rail history that the ministry will meet its renewal targets,” Goyal said.
The minister said around 4000-4500 km of tracks will be supplied for 17 zones this year. “I have no limit on the budget. I have given powers to the lowest level to clear the projects… ” he said.
“I have told my officials that even if I call them to pass a train, it should not be allowed to pass if there is a traffic block because of the renewal of tracks,” he said.