The Chamber sincerely believes that the Minister’s opening quote “ I think I can “ will soon become a reality. Given the political compulsions, the sagging economy and the coalition dharma, the Railway Minister has chosen to refrain from very bold initiatives.
The Chamber welcomes :
• The intention to ensure marked improvement in the quality of services and amenities.
• The concept of FSC (Freight Surcharge) introduced but wish it was extended to passengers as well. Cross subsidization ultimately results in higher charges payable by common man and this anomaly needs urgent remedy.
• The announcement of fifth and sixth railway line between Chennai Central and Basin Bridge and connecting Gunduvancheri to Sriperumbudur industrial area.
• The Port connectivity between Karaikal and Peralam, a long pending demand, has been addressed.
• The seven new routes for Tamil Nadu is a welcoming proposition .
The Chamber’s concerns:
• The proposal of introducing hundred plus new trains in the backdrop of the current punctuality of the Railways being around 60%, is a matter of concern.
• The Minister could have allocated the scarce resources towards completing the numerous projects announced in the last four years, subsequently not provided the requisite allocation. However, this has escaped the Minister’s attention.
• The Budget estimate of achieving 1.42 million tonnes of freight appears to be unrealistic.
• The Railway Tariff Authority which is stated to be under consultation should be implemented with a clear timeline to ensure transparency in tariff and to be devoid of politics.
26th February 2013