Mumbai: Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Friday said that he was open to private investment for the purpose of modernisation and development of Indian Railways.
Addressing a press conference here after holding a pre-budget meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state MPs, Trivedi said private sector can be roped in for development of tracks, rolling stocks and signals.
Stating that the railways was going through critical times, the minister said, "I am concerned about safety and financial position is not comfortable. Without resources, basic safety issues cannot be dealt with,".
The Railway Minister said that private sector can be roped in for development of tracks, rolling stocks and signals.
Trivedi said the working of the railways can be improved by partnership between states and the centre and by adopting Public Private Partnership mode.
He said there is a proposal to separate Mumbai's suburban system from the Indian railways by creating a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for suburban upgradation.
Trivedi said he is talking to some filmstars and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar to help Indian Railways to promote awareness and discipline on railway tracks so that passengers are discouraged from crossing railway tracks.
He said he was in Mumbai as part of his initiative to reach out to the states and to understand their needs. About 28 MPs from the state were present at the meeting. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said among the demands that were discussed at the pre-budget meeting were elevated railway corridor from Churchgate to Virar, MUTP III, 16 new railway tracks and gauge conversion.
He said there was also a demand for re-development of railway land encroached by slums under which one third land can be kept by the railways, one third given to the state government and one third to be developed to re-settle slum