This refers to your column "Indian Railways: The unfolding transformation" (April 12). It is heartening to note that the Railways is rising to the challenges of a globally competitive environment. It is not that the Railways did not have the resources but was taking its economic survival for granted. A modern style of functioning is required all the more not just for the nation's economic connectivity but also for its own independent growth.
Budgeting therefore should be more progressive and meaningful with frequent follow up to ensure planned expansion. The formation of the National Rail and Transportation Institute to improve technology and management is a positive step in this direction. It is encouraging to note the initiatives being taken for track renewal, electrification, speed and enhanced safety. Long-term, progressive, targeted and goal-oriented planning will promote growth in allied industries like that of the engineering, procurement and construction, making the network not just an economic connector but also a business promoter. The suggestion to separate the railway network as an independent functional body with its own regulator can be economically beneficial and enhance its national image.
C Gopinath Nair, Kochi
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