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regular-article-logo Monday, 26 February 2024

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge attacks Narendra Modi government on Railways' performance

He also accused the prime minister of indulging in PR stunts by flagging off new trains and not paying attention to safety, convenience and relief of the common people

PTI New Delhi Published 02.12.23, 02:55 PM
Narendra Modi and Mallikarjun Kharge (inset)

Narendra Modi and Mallikarjun Kharge (inset) File

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday attacked the Centre on the latest Railway Performance Report, alleging the Narendra Modi government has left no stone unturned to destroy the Railways.

He also accused Prime Minister Modi of indulging in PR stunts by flagging off new trains and not paying attention to safety, convenience and relief of the common people.

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"The Modi government has left no stone unturned to destroy the Railways!" Kharge said in a post in Hindi on X.

"After major accidents like Balasore, the much publicised 'Kavach' did not add even a single kilometre of protection," he alleged.

Travelling by train in normal sleeper class has become very expensive while the number of sleeper coaches have also been reduced, Kharge further claimed.

The Congress chief also alleged that more than 10 per cent trains ran behind schedule this year.

"By abolishing the Railway Budget, the Modi government has got away from its accountability. Modiji is busy with PR stunts of flagging off white-painted trains just to garner applause," he said.

"But he is not paying even an iota of attention to the safety, comfort, convenience and relief of the common public," Kharge alleged in his post on X.

Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had on Wednesday said 'Kavach' -- the indigenously-developed automatic train protection system -- was fully installed on 1,500 kilometres of train route.

Significant progress has been made to increase its coverage, he added.

The minister also claimed that there had been no decrease in the number of train travellers and, by the end of the financial year, the Indian Railways would touch pre-Covid passenger traffic of 650 to 700 crore, Vaishnaw said.

He strongly refuted some reports and comments on social media that the number of train passengers had become half of what it used to be in 2010.

Post the Covid lockdown, the Indian Railways started its train services from December 2021 and, by July 2022, operations were normalised. In the 2022-23 financial year, 640 crore people used the train network, Vaishnaw had said.

"This year, according to our conservative estimate, 650 crore people will travel (in trains). The number might go up to 750 crore. So we are back to pre-Covid era when the number of train travellers used to be around 700 crore," he had added.

He had also dismissed reports that the number of non-AC coaches or sleeper class coaches were reduced.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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