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Last Updated : Jul 03, 2020 08:02 AM IST | Source: PTI

Allowing private entities in train operations wrong and illogical decision: Former railway ministers

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha and a former MoS for railways, said privatisation means added burden for ordinary people as they have to spend more on train journeys.

PTI
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Representative Image

Two former railway ministers slammed the Centre's decision to allow private entities in passenger train operations, saying it is a reflection of "anti-people" mindset of the BJP government. They demanded that the Centre reconsider its "illogical decision of selling off national assets".

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the Leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha and a former MoS for railways, said privatisation means added burden for ordinary people as they have to spend more on train journeys.

"Now the government is in a desperate mood to sell a great chunk of one of our largest national assets- the Indian railways. The privatisation cannot be construed as a panacea of railways malady; it is the inefficiency of the railways itself," he tweeted.

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Chowdhury said national assets like railways should not be privatised in such an "audacious manner to garner revenue".

"Privatisation means more fare for the train journey when the country is undergoing severe financial crisis. Privatisation of 109 trains is nothing but adding salt to the injury of common people, as it is only credible and affordable mode of mass transport for poor people of India," he said.

"It is easy to privatise the 109 pairs of trains but for whose interest? National asset rails should not be privatised in such an audacious manner to garner revenue. Govt. should reconsider its ill-timed illogical decisions," he said in another tweet.

Senior TMC leader and former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi termed the decision as "anti-people" which would put more burden on the common man.

"Railways is one of the cheapest and popular modes of transportation in the country. Privatising railway operations is not only an anti-people decision, but it will also have a long-term cascading effect. The private players would join the fray only for-profit, and this will impact the common man," Trivedi said.

Private players will begin rail passenger services by April 2023, and they will run only five per cent of the railways' total mail and express trains, the national transporter said on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference online, Railway Board Chairman VK Yadav also said that the ticket fares in these trains will be competitive with airfares on similar routes.

He said that private players in passenger train operations will mean a quantum jump in technology and coaches that run at higher speeds.
First Published on Jul 3, 2020 07:45 am
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