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No plan to privatise railways, need to accept latest tech, says Ashwini Vaishnaw

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Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday reiterated that the Centre has no policy to privatise the national transporter and emphasised the need for the sector to accept the latest technology to meet the aspirations of the passengers, especially in terms of safety and comfort.

The technology should be indigenous like the contribution of Integral Coach Factory (ICF) to Vande Bharat Express, and take the sector forward, he said, while virtually inaugurating the 20th all India conference of the Bharatiya Railway Mazdoor Sangh (BRMS) at Rail mandapam, Perambur, from Delhi.

Vande Bharat Express was designed and manufactured by ICF at Perambur under the Centre’s Make in India initiative.

“The opposition parties are repeatedly alleging a move to privatise the railways. I wish to clearly state that the railways is a big complex organisation…there’s no policy to privatise the railways. No such plans, whatsoever,” the minister said. What is uppermost in the mind (of administrator) is strive to do what is better for the railways and take it forward, he said.

“There’s no affinity for privatisation of railways but technology should be imbued,” Vaishnaw said and added Prime Minister Narendra Modi had already said the Central government has no intention to privatise the railways.

The minister said there is an imperative need to flex the technology to meet the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat in order to make progress. “This should meet the aspirations of the nation, the youth, emerging middle class and also 8 crore passengers. The contribution should be like ICF’s role in designing and making Vande Bharat express,” he pointed out.

Lashing out at the previous UPA regime for doing precious little on the recruitment front, the minister said the Narendra Modi-led government filled up 3.5 lakh posts in the railways and initiated steps to recruit people for 1.40 lakh posts. “I am reviewing the recruiting process once in 15 days to make sure that it doesn’t get stuck anywhere,” Vaishnaw said.

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