Railways lauded in Parliament for 'yeoman service' during pandemic

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New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) The Indian Railways has rendered yeoman service during the coronavirus pandemic by transporting 43 lakh migrant labourers, distributing two crore free food packets and making available several hundred coaches to be used as healthcare centres, BJP MP Ram Kripal Yadav said on Monday.

Initiating the debate on Demands for Grants of the Ministry of Railways, Yadav said the Indian Railways has been completely changed into a dynamic development-oriented organisation under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last several years.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the railways has offered over 200 coaches to be used as healthcare centres, 43 lakh migrant labours were transported through hundreds of special trains, two crore free food packets were distributed while 55,000 litres of drinking water have also been given to the needy, he said.

Criticising the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for announcing many railway projects 'for political considerations', Yadav said everything has changed after the Modi government came to power and every decision is taken in the interest of the country.

He said 513 projects worth Rs 1.83 lakh crore have been completed during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government while 'annual expenditure on new projects has gone up to Rs 45,000 crore in 2020-21 from a mere Rs 11,527 crore in 2009-10'.

The BJP MP from Bihar said priority has been given to northeastern states and states like West Bengal and Kerala, ruled by opposition parties.

There has been no discrimination against any state during the Modi government, he said.

Referring to the Modern Coach Factory in Raebareli, he said it was established during the UPA rule but 'had not produced even a single railway coach' till the NDA government came.

Since the NDA government came to power, production has started and so far 1,500 coaches have been built and some of them exported abroad, he said. PTI ACB CK