The government is working to transform the railways into a “real engine of growth”, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said today, stressing that managing the transporter was complex. Speaking at the silver jubilee function of Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB), Prabhu said a lot of people give advice on railways. “Some say, why are you not making a profit out of the railways. Another person will complain of charging so much. Somebody will ask why the food is not as good as the food we get in five-star hotels and at the same time, the next person will ask why are you charging Rs 100 for a meal,” he said. “If there is any educational institute, which is going to teach how to manage the railways, it should really be qualified to get a Noble Prize, because managing the railways is so complex,” quipped Prabhu.
The minister said there is always a comparison of the Indian Railways with the Chinese and Japanese railways. “We can do better than them, provided we do everything, Chinese and Japanese did 30-40 years ago. China invested 140 billion dollars year after year,” he said. Prabhu said the Modi government has stepped up investment in the railways. “Our target is to make Rs 8,56,000 crore investment in the railways in next few years time. We will double it once the first cycle of investment is over,” said Prabhu. “We will make it a real engine of growth as every rupee we invest in the railways will create six times more output and GDP growth,” he claimed.