The Railways would require Rs14 lakh crore for modernisation of rail network which include automation of signalling system, strengthening of track and procurement of modern rolling stock
New Delhi: Aiming to take railways to the next generation, India's Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Thursday said his department has prepared a blue print envisaging Rs14 lakh crore investment in the next 10 years, reports PTI.
"The present railway system has outlived its utility. We are in some kind of Victorian age as far as the railways are concerned. Signalling is archaic. We have to embark upon a new generation," Mr Trivedi told reporters here.
He said there is a requirement of Rs14 lakh crore for the next 10 years for modernisation of rail network which include automation of signalling system, strengthening of track and procurement of modern rolling stock.
Asked how the massive amount will be generated, Mr Trivedi said, "I am hopeful of getting the Planning Commission to support the modernisation plan. I am in constant touch with the Commission and they are aware of it. I will be also meeting the Prime Minister for this."
Besides the Planning Commission, he said, "A part of it will also be from internal generation and private investment through public-private partnership (PPP) model."
On the commission's role, he said, "Our plan should be in tune with the Planning Commission. If we are not in tune with it, then the Planning Commission becomes redundant. The commission has a bird's eye view."
Trivedi also favoured a national policy for railways. "I am for a national rail policy taking the opposition on the board. Let it be a collective decision."
Linking the national transporter with GDP growth, he said, "If the railways are not modernised, then there is no way we can hold to our GDP growth. Whether it is seven per cent or eight per cent, the railways have a major role to play."
On passenger safety, Mr Trivedi said, "The signalling system has to be automated. At the moment there is human intervention at every stage. As long as there will be human intervention, there will be human error also. We have to minimise the human intervention with complete automation in the system."
Giving comparisons with other railways, he said, "I am visualising Indian Railways as a totally modern... as modern as European rail system or like Japan. In Japan for 47 years there was not a single train accident."
Referring to Train Protection Warning System (TPWS), he said, "In order to prevent accidents, TPWS is a must."
He expressed dismay over the time being taken for putting into use the anti-collision device (ACD) system. "ACD trial is going on for the last ten years as a pilot project. A pilot project cannot go on for ten long years."
Advocating for e-tendering and e-auctioning as part of the modernisation exercise, Mr Trivedi said the file movement should be less in the railways and "we should be doing it on e-mode..because e-tendering and e-auctioning are more transparent. Our scrap should be sold through e-auction only."
He also mooted the idea of expanding the Railway Board to a nine-member body. Currently, it is a seven-member body including the chairman, he said, adding, "There should be a member revenue and member safety also."
Maruti Suzuki would be establishing stockyards region-wise so that there would not any delay in delivery of the vehicles
Chennai: To reduce the transit time and increase delivery of vehicles, India's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki would set up its stockyard facility in Nagpur, a top company official said on Thursday, reports PTI.
"We will be setting up one in Nagpur soon..", Maruti Suzuki India Managing Executive Officer (Marketing and Sales) Mayank Pareek told reporters here.
Asked whether the delivery of its latest sedan DZire would be increased with the setting up of stockyard, he said "We are only producing 8,000 units in our plant. We should be increasing the production.. This stockyard would help to reduce the transit time of other products..", he said.
Currently, delivery of DZire takes up to three to four months.
He said stockyard would be established region-wise so that there would not any delay in delivery of the vehicles. "We just opened one in Bangalore.. (for southern region). We will be setting up one in Nagpur soon..", he said.
Mr Pareek and senior company officials were here to launch the new DZire at Tamil Nadu market.
The new DZire has at least 150 new features compared to the existing model.
The petrol variant is priced at Rs 4.77 lakh to Rs 6.20 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai) and the diesel variant from Rs 5.82 lakh to Rs 7.12 lakh (ex-showroom Chennai).
Maruti Suzuki reported a 5.18 per cent rise in sales in January at 1,15,433 units. The company had sold 1,09,743 units in the same month last year.
ICAI is preparing a report on those who have stashed black money in foreign accounts and will soon submit it to the Ministry of Finance for further action
Rajkot: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) on Thursday said it was preparing a detailed report on the Indian black money stashed away illegally in foreign banks, reports PTI.
"ICAI is preparing a report on those who have stashed black money in foreign accounts and will soon submit it to the Ministry of Finance for further action," ICAI president G Ramaswamy told reporters.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the foundation stone laying ceremony of the ICAI's proposed building at 150 ft Ring Road here.
Observing that the country is facing a huge crunch of chartered accountants to meet global challenges, Mr Ramaswamy said, "India's economy is growing up and we have around 1.75 lakh chartered accountants which is not enough to meet the growing demand".
The US is facing economic slowdown and India is the only country which can compete with China. And in such circumstances the country needs more and more chartered accountants, he said.
Observing that Gujarat's economy is growing at a rapid pace, the ICAI chief said the regulator's objective was to provide state-of-the-art coaching to students willing to become chartered accountant.
"Gujarat's economy is growing at rapid pace and Rajkot is an important city and we want to have infrastructure to provide coaching as we have large number of chartered accountancy students from the city," he added.