Sam Pitroda refutes reports on rail fare hike

Sam Pitroda refuted reports that the committee had recommended a 25 per cent hike in rail fare and freight charges.

Thiruvananthapuram: Adviser to Prime Minister and
Chairman of a High Level Committee on Railways, Sam Pitroda,
today refuted reports that the committee had recommended a 25
per cent hike in rail fare and freight charges.

"The committee has not finalised and submitted the report,"
Pitroda, adviser to Prime Minister on Public Information
Infrastructure and Innovations, told reporters here.

The committee discussed many things for the modernisation of
railways and reports that the committee had recommended for
fare hike were incorrect, said Pitroda, who is also the mentor
of Kerala government for infrastructure development.

Pitroda, who held discussions with Chief Minister Oomen
Chandy on various development initiatives, said the state
should take Public Private Participation route to attract
capital investments in the state for development projects.

"If the state packages its projects properly, people would
be ready to invest in the state", Pitroda said, adding, "what
was really needed for implementing projects is political

Pitroda said Kerala has a legacy of system similar to that
in West Bengal. The state has to change according to times and
accept the fact of privatisation and globalisation, he said.

Coastal waterways development, setting up a Knowledge City,
Expanding e-governance, modernisation of traditional
industries, improving vocational education,and health
insurance scheme and a high-speed train corridor were among
ten development schemes put forward by Pitroda`s team to
the state.

The team would come back to the state within 90 day with a
`white paper` on these projects and discuss with the state
government to finalise those to be taken up, Pitroda said.

Chandy said the state would hold an all party meet to
arrive at an agreement on the proposal of a High Speed Rail

Stating that Kerala has changed,Chandy said number of work
days lost due to labour trouble had come down in the state.
Trade Unionism has become a thing of the past and people of
the state wanted development, Chandy added.