Jul 09, 2014, 10.50 AM | Source: CNBC-TV18

Railway Budget 2014: Restructuring railway, timely decision making good: Experts

Sadananda Gowda's maiden Railway Budget 2014 received mixed response from experts. The focus on completion of the ongoing projects rather than introduction of new projects, though, was commendable

Railway Budget 2014: Restructuring railway, timely decision making good: Experts
Railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda presented the Railway Budget on Tuesday keeping a track of demands made by most people to kick start new trains, introduce new railway lines and focus on passenger safety. Restrcuturing of Railway Board and introduction of a bullet train also received special mention in Godwa's maiden Railway Budget.

Umesh Chaudhary, VC,  Titagarh Wagons gives thumbs up to Gowda’s proposal of restructuring the Railway Board. He, however, believes the operating ratio of 94 percent is alarming.

Sachin Bhanushali, President, Gateway Rail Freight also believes that the railway restructuring is a bold move by the minister as the board has remain unchanged for a very long period of time.

Gowda plans to upgrade the passenger service through the PPP route. He also proposed foreign direct investment (FDI) in Railways and sought Cabinet approval in the sector, except rail operations.

According to Chaudhary, the proposal to handle decisions within a given period of time is a good move given that the national carrier has been suffering from the lack of time bound decisions. If time bound decisions can be implemented in a systematic manner then it will boost the railway operations, he adds.

Railway minister also emphasized on the importance of cleanliness and safety for women. CCTV cameras are likely to be installed at all the major stations to check cleanliness. Around 4000 women RPF (Railway Protection Force) constables will be recruited to ensure women safety in train and a security helpline number will also be augmented to deal with the issues related to security in trains.

Rajesh Chadha, senior fellow, National Council of Applied Economic Research is all smiles with government’s move in the Railway Budget on cleanliness, accountability and services for the short-term. However, with a longer-term perspective, he is still concerned about the restructuring of railways given its vast size.

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