Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said touts collect railway tickets four months in advance and start black-marketing them. "It leads to problems for passengers. The practice needs to be stopped," he told the media here on Thursday evening.
When asked about the hike in prices, Bansal said it would be necessary if facilities were to be put into place. Saying that the railways would ensure proper facilities to the people, the minister added that food items were one aspect in which there was scope for cost reduction.
He said various items in meal provided in trains are not liked by people and those could be scrapped, hence benefitting both the railways and the people. He also said that food quality in trains would be improved while quantity would be reduced as per people's choice.
Bansal added that the railways need around Rs 40,000 crore from the government in the current fiscal. Last year, the railways had taken Rs 25,000 crore. The minister, who took over the charges after the recent Cabinet reshuffle, said Rs 1 lakh crore more was required to bring the railway on the right track.
The minister refused to mention about any special train or project in any part of the country and said many work needed to be finished soon to improve the total system. He, however, said that there are plans for five bullet train projects, including those on Ahmedabad-Mumbai and Chandigarh-Delhi routes.