Lok Sabha

December 28, 2017

Idris Ali speaks on the need for the Indian Railways to be made supportive towards the poor

Idris Ali speaks on the need for the Indian Railways to be made supportive towards the poor

Full Transcript

Mamata Banerjee, the people’s energy, the heartbeat of the poorest of the poor, a leader who always feels for the people, introduced the Izzat monthly season tickets (MSTs) for Rs 25 to persons working in the unorganised sector with a monthly income not exceeding Rs 1,500 and travelling up to a distance of 100 km to earn bread and butter for their families. The present Government has withdrawn the scheme of certification and the social status of the poor people of the country.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India slammed the Indian Railways in its performance audit, where their findings were that non-purified tap water was being used to make beverages, waste bins were uncovered and unwashed, food was left out in the open and rats and cockroaches were present inside catering units in trains, and stations serving bad and poor quality of food. Under the banner of IRCTC the food preparation and food distribution along with the base kitchens have been privatized by the present Central Government.

In spite of the Khanna Railways Safety Committee report regarding thousands of overaged wagons and coaches, 1,560 stations with over-aged signaling are the main issues of late running of trains. Over 50 per cent of the bridges have outlived their life, lack of passenger facilities including cleanliness at the railway stations, lack of security arrangements are the nightmare of each and every train passenger. All these are required due attention urgently.

Till now , some regions are beyond the reach of railways due to unfavourable geographical conditions. These areas need to be opened to railways for removing regional inequalities for economic growth.

While launching the scheme in 2009 the then Railway Minister who is now the Chief Minister of Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee had said that the Izzat MST scheme aimed to provide an opportunity to the poorest of the poor to travel with dignity, but unfortunately the present Central Government has snatched the rights of poor people.

I urge upon the Railway minister to immediately to make Indian Railways a systematic and supportive mechanism for the poor and unorganised people of the country and restart the Izzat MST scheme at Rs 25 to travel upon 150 kms without further delay.