Railways Minister has a vision for the Indian Railways and he has been giving expression to it whenever the occasion arises. This vision is beyond the opening of new stations in hundreds and raising the standard of these stations to international level. In a recent meeting of the Annual General Body of the Merchant Chamber he said that two aspects of vast network of Indian Railways had to be taken into account. One was the tourist dimension and the other was the vast land and other assets which the Railways owned. The question is of drawing maximum benefit from these assets and re-investing in the railways so as to make railways self sufficient and self generating organizations. We have to realize that Indian railways cater to 125 million people of this country. Imagine the assets it has and the revenue it produces and the employments it makes. This is perhaps the world’s largest railway network system. There is no reason why we should not have world class railways and rail travel management. Firstly, we need to identify our main tourist stations and then we need to introduce tourist friendly railways that would connect all these stations. It could be one big package for the tourists. India Tour Railways have to be equipped with long travelling facility, sleepers, restaurant facilities, mobile groceries and Medicare facility, visits to historical places and tourist guidance services and also hotels and motels run by the railways for night stay of the transit tourists. In Europe such railways are run and the people call it a mobile home. One of the benefits of this type of rail service would be contributing to national integrations. We want that younger generations should know and understand what multi-lingual and multi-cultural India means. In fact, Indian Railways should have special services for the student community who must know their country and its colourful variety.
Apart from this, the railways should make commercial use of the lands under its control so that income is generated. One of the proposals would be to install industries on the available land which can add to the income of the railways instead of keeping the land unused. This ideas has been welcomed by the Minister of Industries and hopefully through the cooperation of the two ministries, a new system will be evolved which will strengthen income of the railways and therefore improve facilities for the passengers.