New Delhi: Taking a dig at the Railways
security preparedness, a Parliamentary committee has found the
steps undertaken by the organisation in view of the increased
terror threats across the country were highly insufficient.
Expressing concern about the increasing security threat
to Indian Railways, the Standing Committee on Railways has
found that though a number of steps are said to have been
taken by the Railways, these measures are grossly inadequate
in view of the increased terrorist activities in the country.
The committee under chairmanship of former Union
Minister T R Baalu has recommended that Railways should
undertake a comprehensive study on its security requirements,
including identification of sensitive routes and initiate
action in this regard on a priority basis.
The committee which tabled its report today in
Parliament has also found reasons, given by the Railways for
not been able to meet the target set in the Eleventh Five-Year
Plan, as "not convincing".
Railways have a target of 2,000 kms of new lines,
10,000 km of gauge conversion, 6,000 km of doubling and 3,500
km of electrification in the XI Plan.
However, the organisation could achieve only 513 km in
respect of new lines, 2,612 km for gauge conversion, 789 km of
doubling and 1,299 km of electrification during the first two
years of the Plan period.
According to railways some of the shortfalls in network
augmentation works are due to the abnormal fluctuations in
steel prices, delay in land acquisition and forestry
clearances, adverse law and order condition in the North
Eastern Region and contractual failures.
However the Standing Committee was not convinced with
these reasons and it has observed that the same reasons are
repeated time and again by the Railways in each and every case
The committee has noted that Railways should make
sincere and conscious efforts to address these problems and
achieve the targets in the remaining period of the XI Plan.
The panel observed that against the revised gross
traffic receipts of Rs 82,393 crores during 2008-09, the
actuals were Rs 79.862 crore, thereby causing a shortfall of
Rs 2,531 crore. The main reasons for the shortfall are stated
to be the economic slowdown and the slump in the commercial
and real estate sector.
The committee said it hoped that with prudent
commercial exploitation of railway land, the Railways will be
able to achieve the targets in respect of gross traffic
receipts during 2009-10.