March 16, 2021 1:12:31 am
While the Railways received praise from many MPs for services during the pandemic, a number of members also expressed concerns about “privatisation” and non-resumption of train services, in the Lok Sabha Monday.
Initiating the debate on the Demand for Grants of Railways, BJP MP Ram Kripal Yadav said the Indian Railways has provided “yeoman service” and it has been completely transformed into a dynamic development-oriented organisation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Railways transported over 60 lakh stranded migrants to their home states and converted over 5,000 coaches into isolation/quarantine centres during the lockdown. He said 513 projects worth Rs 1.83 lakh crore have been completed under the NDA tenure.
However, the Opposition tore into the government over plans for private participation in various railway projects.
IUML MP E T Mohammed Basheer said it was “very dangerous” that certain services were being handed over to private parties. “Railways is a national property and its privatisation is very dangerous,” he said.
Hanuman Beniwal of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party asked how the “privatisation” of railways will impact its employees. He also demanded that the vacancies in the sector be filled at the earliest.
Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal) asked about steps taken by the government to increase freight basket to push revenues.
Several other MPs, from both sides of the aisle, demanded that train services be resumed.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal, who was present during the discussion, will reply to the debate on Tuesday.
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