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Friday, December 15, 2000

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Indian Railways 2000

Sir, - The article by Mr. M.N. Prasad on the Indian Railways 2000 (The Hindu, Dec. 12) is an authentic appraisal of the present condition of our railway system. His suggestions coming from an experienced technocrat and administrator who had the unique privilege of occupying the top slot in the railway hierarchy and guiding its destiny for a number of years deserves serious consideration if the monolith transport organisation is to be rescued from the moribund state in which it now is.

For the last two decades, successive Railway Ministers have been treating the railways as their private fiefdom to implement their personal political agenda and improve their electoral prospects in their home State, which is continuing even now. This has led to complaints from other States about the neglect of their State by the Railways. The Railway's priority getting topsy-turvy with pet projects of Ministers like unigauge, additional zones, etc., getting preference over long-pending approved developmental projects has become common feature, and this aberration has to be corrected. It is necessary to bring all railway projects involving heavy financial outlay under the purview of the Public Investment Board and bridle the powers of the Railway Ministers to execute projects on purely parochial and personal considerations.

M.K.B. Nambiar,

Palloor (Mahe)

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