- He took on the government over its first move to privatize the railways
- According to proposal, private firms can run the trains for 35 years
- The proposal involves running 151 trains over 109 routes
Congress's Rahul Gandhi today took on the government over its first move to privatize the railways, suggesting that the people will not forgive it for the move. The government today made the first move to privatise railways, inviting proposals from private firms to run passenger trains.According to the ministry proposal, the private firms can run the trains for 35 years.
The proposal involves running 151 trains over 109 routes, which will seek private investment to the tune of Rs 30,000 crore, the railways ministry said in a statement.
The largest railway network in the world that runs around 13,000 trains, the railways employs around 12 lakh people. A chunk of the passenger services runs on subsidy -- leading to big losses over the years that the ministry has been unable to recoup.
"The railways are the lifeline for the poor and the government is taking it away from them. Take away what you can. But do remember, the people will give a befitting response to this," Mr Gandhi's tweet in Hindi read. .
"This is the first initiative of private investment for running passenger trains over Indian Railways network," the Railways ministry said in a statement.
The object, it said, was to "introduce modern technology rolling stock with reduced maintenance, reduced transit time, boost job creation, provide enhanced safety, provide world-class travel experience to passengers, and also reduce demand supply deficit in the passenger transportation sector".
Mr Gandhi has been repeatedly taking on the government on the social media site -- initially over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and then the Chinese intrusion in Ladakh.
After 20 Indian soldiers were killed in action in Ladakh's Galwan Valley on June 15, he alleged that the government has surrendered Indian territory to the Chinese.
In his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said those "who eyed Indian territory in Ladakh have received a befitting response".
"If India knows how to maintain friendship, it can also confront someone and give an adequate response. Our brave soldiers made it clear that they will not allow anyone to taint the honour of Mother India," he added.