Railways – Indian Railways to involve NRIs for development of railway stations

The Railways plans to involve Non-Resident Indians in developing stations. The ministry has prepared set of guidelines and sent it to the Indian embassies abroad including Canada, Australia and other countries that have sizable population of Indian origin. 

The guidelines which have been prepared to involve NRIs, NGOs, corporate and charitable trusts have provisions that allow a contributor to get involved in the station development by even spending a small amount. 

“People are emotionally involved with their places of origin and want to contribute to the development of the area. We have made provisions that any NRI may spend on a water cooler, an escalator or a cleaning system or any other facility at a station with which one wishes to be identified,” Member of Engineering Railway Board VK Gupta told reporters on Wednesday.

He said that any railway station could be adopted.

There are six stations which railways have identified for being developed as world class stations. 

They include Habibganj (Bhopal), Surat, Gandhinagar, Chandigarh , Anand Vihar (New Delhi), and Brijvashan is in the advanced stage. They are being developed on Public Private Partnership basis.

“In the current financial year, the Railways is spending Rs 1,748 crore on development of stations. The major initiative would be to construct 650 toilets,” he said.

The Railways has also roped in MPs for developing stations. Important stations are being provided with benches from the MPLAD funds.

Member of Railway Board said: “Indian stations serve the area in various ways. Local people use railway stations as shelter, they enjoy other facilities including that of getting drinking water.”

He said that Railways have also sent a proposal to the Finance Ministry for creating Special Road Safety Fund of Rs 30, 000 crore to eliminate unmanned level crossings. 
There are 10, 000 unmanned level crossings in the country.

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