Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday asked the Konkan Railways authorities to chalk out a plan on the state government’s proposal on doubling the Karwar to Malpem railway line to decongest traffic.
He was speaking through video conference on the occasion of the foundation stone laying ceremony held at the secretariat hall for Rs 15 crore worth Kharepatan crossing lane benefitting 70 villages.
Prabhu said, “We have to see the availability of land, and in coming days we will come out with a definite plan… we are committed to improve the railway infrastructure to provide best alternative and get more rail traffic load into the state.”
Addressing the gathering during the ceremony, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar requested the Railways Minister to take up double tracking of railway line from Karwar or Canacona to Malpem in Pernem taluka.
He said the rail double tracking would reduce pressure on road traffic, accidents and offer an alternative mode of transport to the people working in Pernem and Cancaona. In a bid to provide basic infrastructure for attracting high-end tourists, Prabhu also announced that the most expensive, luxury train Maharaja Express will run through southern parts of the country covering Goa and Kerala from next year.
“I have requested the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, which operates this special Maharajas Express train across North-West and Central India between the months of October to April, to also run it through the southern parts of the country from the next monsoon. We are looking for high-end tourists, people who can pay money to help generate income and create jobs in the sector. There is no better way to identify these potential clients than through running such a luxurious train that minimum cost of ticket is Rs 70,000,” Prabhu said.
Seeking to bring about greater transparency in ticket booking system ensuring lesser crowd at the booking counter, the Railways Minister said the Railways would launch handheld terminals at the Margao railway station for the benefit of suburban and short-distance commuters later this week.
“It will help in updating status of passenger list of the whole train and minimise waiting time for passengers booking unreserved tickets. It has been already launched in Delhi and other major cities,” he added.
These terminals will work in disconnected mode, and being portable, tickets can be sold in the non-ticket booking zone of railway premises. These terminals can issue platform ticket, monthly season tickets and journey tickets for adults, children and senior citizens.
The function was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, state legislative assembly Speaker Anant Shet, RDA Minister Alina Saldanha, Panaji MLA Siddharth Kuncolienkar and others.