GUWAHATI, April 13 � There is a need for the Indian Railways to adapt to changes in society and the economy so that it can play a major role in the development of the country, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said here today.
Addressing the 60th Railway Week National Awards Function 2015 at IIT Guwahati, Prabhu said, �We should not be afraid of changes. Rather, we should look at how to accrue maximum benefits from changes.�
He emphasised �proper reorientation� of the Indian Railways.
Giving the example of China, Prabhu said development of the rail network in that country acted as a major catalyst for development of the Chinese economy.
�We need to chart a new roadmap for the Indian Railways. We have to set a new strategy,� Prabhu said, adding that emphasis would be placed on increasing the savings of the Indian Railways.
He said the Railway Ministry has set some ambitious targets for the current financial year.
Prabhu said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has placed special emphasis on development of the North-east.
He said the work on the Mega Block in the Lumding-Silchar segment was completed ahead of schedule. �This is an example to be emulated in other projects also,� he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said all state capitals in the North-east would soon be connected by rail service. He further said that investments worth Rs 28,000 crore have been made for the region for development of railway infrastructure.
Interacting with the media after the event, Prabhu said that the Central government is committed to development and expansion of rail network in the North-east.
Asked about the possibility of reservation in railway jobs for locals, Prabhu did not give a direct answer and said, �There is no question of discrimination against candidates from the North-east.�
He said the Indian Railways has a policy under which priority is given to recruitment of local candidates in grade C and D jobs.
Asked about Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar�s statement regarding plans to build a railway station in Arunachal Pradesh near the India-China border, Prabhu said a proposal has been received from the Defence Ministry in this regard.