At the launch event, Goyal said, “Ours is an accountable government. We hold ourselves accountable to people’s aspirations.”
Goyal also said the NDA government has always given its report card on each of the last five years and now it is time to see people’s mandate.
He said the need for RTI applications has come down drastically due to the increased transparency in the government procedures.
About Rail Drishti, Goyal said the URL of the portal has been made so simple so that it becomes user-friendly. “Those in remote villages can access this and find out everything about Railways,” he said.
Goyal also took an apparent jibe at the Opposition, particularly Congress, for its constant criticism of indigenously built Vande Bharat Express. “Those who are weak and don’t work hard make fun of Make in India,” Goyal said. After the Vande Bharat Express had come to a dead halt while entering New Delhi last week, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had taken a swipe at PM Narendra Modi through a tweet, saying that the latter must “seriously” reconsider his Make in India scheme as most people think it has failed.
On the land deal between Maharashtra government and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA) for the redevelopment of Dharavi slum in Mumbai, Goyal said 45 acres of surplus land would be given to Dharavi redevelopment project on a 99 years lease.
“With this, the redevelopment of the 400-acre slum of Dharavi will get a boost. I grew up near Dharavi, in a way I am paying back a debt to the place. You have seen Gully Boy (film)? That kind of life will be transformed. This has opened the vistas for a huge amount of slum redevelopment across the country,” Goyal said.
The 45-50 acres of land that the Railways has agreed to transfer is part of two parcels held by Western Railways and Central Railways in the Matunga-Mahim area measuring a total of 97 acres.
Top sources said the government has agreed to pay Rs 800 crore for the land, as well as a share of profit from the redevelopment to the Indian Railways.
The railway minister also proposed the use of a barcode on food packets in Railways to prioritise the quality of food being served. “Our ultimate aim is to have a barcode on food packets so people can scan the code which would redirect them to the live feed of the kitchen in which it was prepared,” Goyal said. However, he said there was still resistance within the system to make IRCTC kitchens live video feed public.
Goyal also said that live CCTV footage of stations may be made public if security agencies give a go-ahead. It shouldn’t become a security risk, Goyal said.
He proposed the use of a barcode on food packets which would redirect the people to the live feed of the kitchen in which it was prepared.