Published On: Fri, Mar 13th, 2020

Don’t fall prey to touts, Railway Minister urges people

New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday appealed to people not to fall prey to touts while booking e-tickets, including Tatkal tickets, and use their own mobile phones for booking.

He said the Railway Ministry has fixed the electrification target for 6,000 km rail line

The Minister said several steps have been taken by the government to control the tout menace. In previous years, a total of 104 people were arrested for selling softwares which are used by these touts to book e-tickets. “As many as 5,300 touts were arrested in the last one year and booking tenders were blacklisted,” he said.

“Use your phone and book the ticket. If you need help, go to authorized train booking centres. I appeal to the people not to go to anyone else for ticket. We have cancelled 10 crore tickets which were booked by using unauthorised software,” Goyal said.

Goyal on Friday hit out at the Congress for “misleading” people by presenting a separate rail budget, saying several projects had been pending since 1974 and that the whole rail network had gone through mismanagement.

Replying to the debate on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways, the Minister said the whole infrastructure of the railways needed special attention when the Modi government came to power in 2014.

“Since then we brought about a drastic change in the system unlike what the Congress-led governments did in the past,” he said.

Citing examples of the Modern Coach Factory (MCF) in Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, the Minister said the unit which was to manufacture 1,000 coaches
could not roll out a single coach till 2014. “The machines were not functioning because there was corruption. In August 2014, the first coach was manufactured.”

“By March 30 this year, we will make 2,000 coaches. This is 200 per cent of the capacity of the coach factory,” said the Minister.

The MCF in Raebareli has produced a total of 1,402 coaches in the financial year 2019-2020 till the month of December 2019.

Apart from the total value of annual production, MCF has broken all previous monthly records of production as in the month of December 2019 alone, a total number of 220 coaches were manufactured. This has been higher than the number of coaches manufactured by MCF in a single month ever.

He said allocations for the railway sector has been enhanced by the Prime Minister to Rs 1.61 lakh crore this year from Rs 54,000 crore in 2013-14. The increased allocation is being used for 58 super critical and 68 critical projects.

“We set higher goals and made efforts to achieve those. The result is that there is a 360-degree change,” said Goyal.

On unmanned crossings where one-third of total rail incidents occurred, the Minister said there is no unmanned crossing in whole broad gauge network, except a few due to technical reasons.

“With day-and-night efforts of 13 lakh railway employees, we ensured that not a single passenger died this year.”

He hit out at the Congress for making a temporary solution to every problem, sayng it would not work in the long run.

Talking about ‘Vande Bharat’, also known as Train 18, Goyal said the number of the semi-high speed train will be soon increased to 44.

He said the Railway Ministry has fixed the electrification target for 6,000 km rail line.

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