Soon, Railway Stations Authority of India

Government is working on setting up a Railway Stations Authority of India on the lines of Airports Authority of India.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2011, 17:56 PM IST

Bhopal: Government is working on setting up a Railway Stations Authority of India on the lines of Airports Authority of India to establish modern stations with advanced
amenities across the country, Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi
said here on Thursday.

"We have already announced constitution of a Railway
Stations Authority of India on the lines of AAI to develop
modern railway stations with all facilities. The drawing board
is ready and once other formalities are over, its Chairman,
Managing Director and other officials too would be announced,"
Trivedi told reporters here after inspecting the Habibganj
station.

When asked whether he will make this announcement in the
next Rail Budget, Trivedi said there was no point waiting
until then. "It is a continuous process and we are working on
it. Rail Budget is just a one-day affair while we have to
continuously plan for this in remaining 364 days."

The Railways Minister arrived here this morning for a
meeting with Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and other
MPs to discuss expansion of railway facilities in Madhya
Pradesh.

To a question on plans to create world-class railway
stations, he said the Ministry is working towards it.

"Any station can be called world-class only when it has
facilities at par with at least modern airports. World-class
is a concept. It should have shops, library, neat and clean
rooms and hotels among others," Trivedi said.

He said the Railways can work on the PPP model to create
such facilities as it has a lot of land in its kitty and can
enter into partnerships with large companies who can invest
capital for such projects.

Trivedi said income from other sources need to be
enhanced to raise the revenue for the railways.

Citing an example of Japan, he said, "The railways in
that country generates 40 per cent income from other sources
on the basis of PPP models and here also we have to think on
that lines. Stations like Borivali, CST, Chennai, New Delhi
and Howrah, among others, could prove to be goldmines for the
railways."

Speaking on the financial status of his department,
Trivedi said, "We have to be a visionary to raise the
railways` income and that cannot be achieved by merely raising
train fares. By raising passenger fares, the railways may earn
Rs 2000-3000 crore, but its requirement is Rs three lakh
crore," he said.

"Our requirement is of an ocean, while by raising fares
we will only get a drop," he said.

Trivedi said out of the 149 projects that the Railways
are currently working on, only 14 are "economically viable"
while rest are "socially desirable" and, therefore, they
cannot be left alone.

Railways are competent to do all this and there is no
crisis, he said.

Asked about poor rail network in Madhya Pradesh, he said
not just rail, but also there is lack of air network in the
state and he would raise the issue with Chouhan during his
meeting with him.

He suggested that the state can become partner with the
railways by providing land free of cost to it for development
of rail facilities in Madhya Pradesh.

PTI