Madurai, July 16: Frequent hikes in diesel price had affected the financial position of Indian Railways so badly that it would take at least another 50 years to complete the ongoing projects, Union Minister of State for Railways Kotla Jaya Suriya Prakash Reddy said here today.
Talking to reporters after inaugurating the escalators at the railway junction here, he said "what the railway is earning as profit is being eaten away by diesel price hike.
Once the financial position improves, we will be able to implement projects", he said. Already steps were taken to replace diesel engines with electric engines in order to reduce the cost of fuel, he said.
He said one lakh vacancies were filled in the railways and plans were on to fill another 1.5 lakh vacancies soon.
Ten per cent of the Railway Protection Force personnel would be women and this was being done at the request of the woman passengers, he said.