Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav indicated in a statement on Wednesday in the winter session of Parliament that there is no possibility of resuming the concessions given to senior citizens during rail travel. This concession for senior citizens was discontinued during the Covid pandemic.
In fact, in the Lok Sabha, Maharashtra's Independent MP Navneet Rana asked Railway Minister Ashwini that when will the concession given to senior citizens in rail fare be resumed? In response to this, Ashwini Vaishnav said that Railways has given a subsidy of 59 thousand crore rupees on passenger services last year, which is a huge amount. He further said that this figure is more than the annual budget of many states.
After this, Ashwini Vaishnav also told that every year the Railways has to spend Rs 97,000 crore on salary bill and Rs 60,000 crore on pension bill. Apart from all this, Railways spends 40 thousand crore rupees only on buying fuel. Ashwini said, 'Last year we have given 59 thousand crore rupees passenger subsidy. New facilities are being introduced. If new decisions have to be taken, we will take them, but at the moment everyone should see that the condition of the Railways is not good.
Let us tell you that the concession given to senior citizens during rail travel was stopped during the Kovid-19 epidemic, at that time it was considered to be a temporary step. After this, people expected that it would be restored once the situation becomes normal due to the Corona epidemic, but this has not happened yet.
Apart from this, the Railway Minister said that after the completion of the construction of the Ram temple, a plan has been prepared to connect Ayodhya with every corner of the country through trains. He said that the work of re-development of 41 major railway stations of the country is going on, after which the remaining stations will also be developed soon in a phased manner.
Ashwini told that we have set a target to make railways completely pollution free by 2030 and continuous work is also being done to achieve this. The Railway Minister said that for this, work is going on to develop hydrogen-powered trains, for which Indian engineers will do all the work from designing and development to construction.