Kolkata: Railway Minister Mukul Roy on Monday said safety, security and punctuality are his priorities while
asserting that the Railways would strive to achieve a better
"Safety, security and punctuality are our priorities.
It is the most friendly transport in the country and our
effort will be to bring it more closer to the people," Roy
told newspersons at Eastern Railway headquarters here.
Stating that the operating ratio of the Railways since
1973-74, when it was around 74, has never been below 90, he
said "I will ensure that we work in a manner that we can
achieve the old operating ratio."
To persistent queries whether he was not contemplating
a rollback of recent hike in freight rates ranging from 15 to
35 per cent for different goods, the minister refused to be
drawn in saying "the fact remains that it was not in the
Budget provision. The minister has to reply on Budget
"It was not within the Budget. So question does not
arise for reply to a question which was not within the
Budget," he said.
"That is not within the Budget, again I repeat that
it is not within the Budget," he said when mediapersons
pressed further on the matter.
Freight rates were hiked by his predecessor
Dinesh Trivedi ahead of the Railway Budget.
Asked how he would tackle the financial constraints
being faced by the Railways he said that "in my reply on
Friday to the debate on Railway budget in both Houses of
Parliament I have clearly stated the future objectives. So no
further question should be raised."
When a reporter pointed out that he was being
criticised by CPI(M) that as a Railway Minister he was
confining himself mostly to Kolkata, he said, "Question is not
sitting in Delhi or Kolkata. The question is how you can
perform. I know what is my job, I know what is my duty and how
The minister said that all the pending projects would
be completed within the time frame.
Roy said that in the first phase, he was here to
discuss the pending projects of Eastern Railway, South Eastern
Railway and the Metro Railway with the respective general
managers and other officers.
Roy described the tenure of Mamata Banerjee, his party
supremo, as Railway Minister as a `glorious chapter` of the