New Delhi, Feb 24 (UNI) Claiming credit for turning around the fortunes of the Railways, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today said he had rescued the premier government enterprise from the ''debt trap'' of 2001, when the surplus was a mere Rs 350 crore, to a ''historic'' surplus of Rs 11,000 crore purely through his ''passion''.
''You might term this a miracle, but I was confident that my passion would yield results like light emanating from the sea of blackness'' (mere zunu ka natija zaroor niklega, isee siaah samandar se noor niklega),'' Mr Prasad said while presenting his third Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha.
With this ''unprecedented achievement, we are striving to realise'' Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's dream of making Indian Railways the premier railway of the world, he said.
''Sir, the whole nation can see today that track is the same, railwaymen are the same but the image of the Indian Railways is aglow. This has been the result of the acumen, devotion and determination of lakhs of railwaymen,'' he said.
Accepting the contention of Mr Prasad, Dr Singh told reporters that the financial position of the Railways ''has improved never before as it has in the past two years'' and complimented the Railway Minister and all the employees of enterprise.
The Indian Railways ''is back on the rails once again'' and this had been achieved without placing any burden on the commonman, Dr Singh said.
UNI SN LR DS1530