New Delhi: In a bid a to shore up its
finances, the Ministry of Railways is contemplating setting up
Station Authority of India on the lines of Airport Authority
of India for creation of additional facilities at the stations
and making them commercially more viable.
"We can have Station Authority of India like Airport
Authority of India (AAI). We have not exploited the stations
at all. We can have multiplexes, shopping complexes,
libraries, parking lots and offices at stations," Railway
Minister Dinesh Trivedi said at the inaugural ceremony of the
International Railway Equipment Exhibition here.
There are more than 7000 railway stations across the
"AAI provides so much of logistics and comforts and it
is slushed with money. Why can`t railways have a similar body
for modernisation of stations?" Trivedi asked.
On the fare hike issue, the Minister said, "It is very
easy to increase the fare but we have to think out of the box.
Fare hike is the easiest thing to do and I do not think we
should have easy options."
Pitching strongly for private sector participation in the
railways sector, he said, "I do not think railways can be
modernised by increasing passengers fares and freight rates.
We need total participation of the private sector."
"We will not achieve 8 per cent GDP growth unless Indian
Railways grows by 10 to 12 per cent. Modernisation of
signalling system, track, stations, freight terminals are the
need of the hour. We have to redefine railways with a
modernisation plan," he said.