Free Press Journal

Indore: Miffed over scribe’s uneasy query, railway MoS Manoj Sinha skips award ceremony


Indore: Union minister of state for railways Manoj Sinha on Monday got annoyed over a question posed to him by a mediaperson on frequent derailments and left city railways station without attending the scheduled programme.

Sinha arrived in the city on Sunday evening and was scheduled to felicitate some railway employees for their outstanding performances on Monday morning. He was also scheduled to inspect the Park Road platforms.  However, before the function he had interaction with the mediapersons where a reporter posed a question on safety and frequent derailments while the tall claims being made by the government on the bullet train project. This annoyed Sinha and left the venue without attending the scheduled programmes.

The Union minister of state for railways said it was incorrect to compare regular trains with the proposed bullet train on the aspect of operational safety, two days after derailment of a passenger train about 30 km away from Katni railway station. Sinha also asked the media to desist from ‘misleading’ the common people on the issue of the bullet train, believed to be the dream project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose necessity has been questioned by many quarters in the country.

“The bullet train is one thing and the operation of normal trains is another thing. India needs high-speed trains and the country will not lag behind on this front,” he said. The minister said there was no need to “mislead” anyone (on the bullet train issue). “I think that you (media) should stop this work,” he told reporters.

He later left for Bhopal in a special train to do rear window inspection of Indore-Bhopal section. In the capital he was scheduled to join railway minister Piyush Goyal in the 63rd National Railway Week Awards Function 2018. Five coaches of the Katni-Chaupan passenger train derailed on April 14 night between the Salhna and Piparia Kalan stations, leaving at least six people injured.

A high-speed bullet train project, worth around Rs 1,10,000 crore, is proposed on a 580-km stretch between Ahmedabad in Gujarat and Mumbai. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe had laid the foundation stone for the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail Network, commonly known as the bullet train, in Ahmedabad in September last year.

Kshipra Express to run daily: Goyal

Railway minister Piyush Goyal on Monday announced that the Indore-Kolkata Kshipra Express will run daily instead of thrice a week at present. Goyal made this announcement after participating in the 63rd National Railway Week Awards Function 2018 in Bhopal.  Passengers had been demanding for long that the train be run daily.  The minister also announced that a pantry car will attached to the Kshipra Express.