New Delhi: Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi
on Friday ruled out a hike in train fares, saying a move to that
effect was not a solution for improving the fiscal health of
the country`s largest public transporter.
"Raising fares is not the solution (to raise funds). We
have to think of the poor," he told reporters when asked if a
hike in rail fares was on the cards.
Trivedi also stressed the need for a complete overhaul of
the railway infrastructure and rebuilding the system with
modern technology to ensure high level of safety.
His comment comes in the backdrop of the public
transporter being affected by recurring accidents and acute
financial crisis, forcing it to put several projects on hold.
The Minister felt a good business model is a prime
requirement for the Railways at present to attract funds. A
sound political will was also required to rebuild the entire
network that is saddled with obsolete technology and is
dependent too much on human intervention, he said.
Trivedi also said the Indian Railways should be delinked
from political interventions so as to give them a
professional outlook and allow the public transporter to move
to the next generation.
Noting that the Railways should be delinked from
politics, he said, "It is important whether in matters of
transfer, providing stoppages at stations, for new lines. All
MPs (have their wish list) I don`t criticise that because
they have to think about the people, but we should understand
we have to give Railways a professional model."
Trivedi also felt that there has to be a continuity in
railway policies and programmes irrespective of who is the
"Problem is when the Railway Minister changes, system
changes. We have to maintain the continuity and ensure
consistency for the overall interest of the Railways," he