In a bid to provide confirmed seats on demand to passengers, railways is expanding its network to cater to the growing demand of railway commuters.
“We want to make network in such a way that people should get reservation on demand by 2020. It is not possible in a day,” Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said on Monday.
Currently, the waitlisted passengers’ list is long as there is a wide gap between the availability of berths and number of passengers. Besides railways is facing heavy congestion in main trunk routes as 12,000 trains are run on 66,000 km route daily across the country.
Speaking on the sidelines of a function, Sinha said there is a huge gap between passenger requirement and the existing infrastructure.
“Railway traffic has increased 20 times since Independence and infrastructure has increased by 2.25 times. There is a big gap between passengers and infrastructure,” he said.
“Allahabad-Mughal Sarai sector is where there was maximum congestion. There are 67 sectors in the country which face congestion and work has started to decongest them,” Sinha said.
Highlighting the NDA government’s focus on infrastructure development, the MoS Railways said, “Average investment in Indian Railways was Rs 48,000 crore before May 2014, which has been increased last year to Rs 1 lakh crore. An investment plan worth Rs 8.5 lakh crore has been made (for the next five years).”
Defending the flexi-fare system in Premier service, he said, “Flexi plan has been implemented in 77 trains. Those who are affected from this scheme are less than 0.2 per cent.
Railways expense per kilometer is around 70 paise and it is recovering 40 paise only.”
He further said, “This is required for working of railways and I feel who are availing better facilities and who can afford to pay should pay for services. We have made no changes in general (jan sadharan) and Garib Rath trains.
With inputs from PTIBack to latest news