New Delhi: A Parliamentary committee has recommended Railways to carry out a fresh exercise in re-prioritisation of projects considering the available budget allocation as well as the need to complete as many projects as possible within a reasonable time period.
The committee has also asked the Railway Ministry to adopt multi-modal approach to connectivity and review the necessity of its projects in backward regions and strategic locations.
Railway Convention Committee is of the view that the development of backward and under-developed areas by Railways is a step in right direction.
The committee headed by BJD MP Arjun Charan Sethi has found that because of large number of ongoing projects, particularly under new lines and gauge conversion, the limited resources available get spread thinly over the projects, leading inevitably to a very long gestation period.
The Parliamentary panel, in its latest report, has said that while developing remote areas of the country, Railways must ensure that employment opportunities are generated for local unemployed youth so that they become a part of inclusive and integrated growth and come into the national mainstream of development.
The panel has observed the need to connect remote and backward areas through socially desirable rail connectivity schemes to foster growth and fulfil the aspirations of the common man by providing much needed employment opportunities.
While Railway Ministry has maintained that economic growth of the area is dependent on the factors apart from availability of rail network, the committee feels that the Railways should not shy away from giving direct employment to eligible unemployed youth in these backward areas and discourage them from migrating to urban areas in search of employment or remain unemployed.
The committee said provision of rail network in backward areas brings about many tangible and intangible benefits, including direct and indirect employment to the inhabitants of the area.
It has suggested that local youths in these areas be given preference for various jobs which are created while extending the rail network to these backward areas.