Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal has directed the officials of Indian Railways to reach out to needy people with food and other assistance to the best of their human abilities and resources. Railway Organizations like IRCTC and RPF are already engaged in distribution of free meals to the needy persons. The Minister said that Railways should widen the outreach of their efforts and go beyond the proximities of railways stations to deeper areas in consultation with district authorities and NGOs etc. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, members of the Railway Board, GMs and heads of PSUs from across the nation, who linked up through video conferencing.
Complimenting the Railways for extraordinary work being done so far in the fight against Corona and adopting innovative solutions like conversion of passenger coaches as isolation coaches, Piyush Goyal expressed confidence that all the zones will meet the challenge of making these coaches fully ready and would be equipped at the earliest. It may be noted that work on conversion of first lot of 5000 coaches has already started in a phased manner.
Railway Board officials informed the Minister that following Prime Minister’s call to the nation, a contribution of Rs 151 crore was being made to PM CARE fund. Chairman Railway Board Vinod Kumar Yadav informed that Employees of Indian Railways and Rail PSUs took a decision to forego one day’s salary and contribute to the PM CARE Fund. Many Railway PSUs are also planning to contribute to the fund to bolster the national efforts.
While reviewing the running of special Parcel Trains by Railways to supply important items, Piyush Goyal asked the officials to make the service available on more routes so that goods like medicines, essential equipments, edibles can be supplied all over the country in a quick time. E- Commerce companies and suppliers of other important goods which are needed in smaller quantities, are going to benefit from the parcel trains. Parcel special trains are already running on 8 routes and 20 more are in the pipe line in different zones.
Piyush Goyal said that the next few weeks are critical in the fight against Corona virus and a determined effort by all of us would ensure that the nation wins the fight.
The Minister said that for the first time in history, not a single passenger lost their life in last twelve months in a railway accident. Now we are working to ensure that COVID-19 has least impact on India.