Will request Sreedharan to be part of expert team: Sadananda Gowda

Posted By: PTI
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Bangalore, Jun 1: Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda on Sunday said he would constitute an expert team to guide him in the functioning of the department and would request 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan to be part of it.

"I need to have a technical committee that can guide and brief me all the in and out of the department. Certainly within three or four days after consultation with Prime Minister, I will have a team of experts who can guide me, because as a Minister what all things I need to do that I should take opinion of experts," Gowda told reporters.

The Minister, however, said he has not yet decided on who all would be in the committee. "Certainly Sreedharan's name is always in the front line.

As far as railways is concerned, I haven't spoken to him. Tomorrow I will talk to him and seek his assistance to bring railway department to a new high," he said.

On the Gorakhdham train mishap occurred just before he assumed office in which 28 passengers were killed, Gowda said "safety, security and service is my priority.

Along with it we need speed to cater to the needs of people in the fast moving world", Gowda said. "So 4S (safety, security, service and speed) is my agenda.

To move ahead in this direction we will have to look for new inventions and new technologies," he said.

Stating that he is in the process of consulting officials and understanding the functioning of the department, Gowda said "I have got a responsibility that has immense challenges at this time when country is looking for a change. I think I have got a major responsibility. I never expected it."

"This is a major responsibility and has lot of expectations from people. I will try all my best to meet those expectations," Gowda said.

On privatisation of railways and resource mobilisation, he said it was quite premature to answer about it, at this juncture. "Certainly we need more resource mobilisations.

On how to get it, I will consult experts." To a question on creating a separate zone for Seemandhra, he said "if we feel that it is needed for the development and interest of that state, we will look in to it." On the issue of fare hike, Gowda said, "I need at least 15 days time. I feel that now people are prepared to pay given that they are provided with good service."

The Minister said his predecessor Mallikarjuna Kharge had put a burden on him by announcing an increase of 10 per cent hike in railway tariff and 5 per cent hike on freight and not implementing them.

Acknowledging that people of Karnataka has high expectations from him as he belongs to the state and also having served as the Chief Minister, Gowda said "they don't have just expectations, but high expectations. I my self have doubts whether I will be able to fulfill all their expectations.

I will try my best to reach peoples expectations." Replaying to a question about connectivity between Bangalore to coastal belt of the state, he said "one port available to the state is Mangalore, port connectivity plays important role in railways and also for development.

I am at it, but not sure now it self about how and when it will take shape." Gowda said that he will be meeting former Ministers Mallikarjuna Kharge, Jaffer Sharif and K H Muniyappa, who earlier headed the department from the state, to take their suggestions relating to developmental activities.


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