PIYUSH Goyal took charge of the Railway Ministry on Friday and said he was happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reassigned the portfolio to him as it would mean “continuity” in the work of the Ministry.
Piyush Goyal being received by Angadi Suresh Channabasappa (2R), MoS in the Ministry of Railways as he takes charge as Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry in the
newly-elected PM Modi’s Cabinet in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
He said that improving passenger experience and modernising the Railways would be his focus areas. “I am happy that there will be continuity in the work that we had begun in the first stint. The many work that we have started will be continued. I hope that we will be able to improve the passenger experience as well as the process of loading of goods,” he said, with Minister of State Angadi Suresh Channabasappa, a 4-time MP from Karnataka, by his side.
Goyal, having achieved the lowest accident figures in his previous tenure, had repeatedly said that his goal was to reach the zero accident standard.
“Together we can take the work of Railways to newer heights. Newer heights of transparency, newer heights of innovative thinking, newer heights of bringing honesty in the Railways and growth in passengers and freight traffic.
“Newer speed of implementing infra projects and customer satisfaction that is the new Indian Railways and new India that the PM has charted for us,” he said.
However, Goyal’s biggest challenge would be to maintain the record of maintaining punctuality, timely track maintenance and renewal. His aim would be to ensure that Railway factories ramp up production of state-of-the-art coaches for trains such as Vande Bharat Express so that more such services can be introduced.
Goyal, who had pushed for generating resources through non-fare revenue, had hit a stonewall during his last stint, but the Minister is likely to drive this idea as he believes that this will bring in additional funds to boost the beleaguered railways’ finances.