New Delhi, Mar 14 (ANI): Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Wednesday presented his maiden Railway Budget for 2012-13 in Lok Sabha and stressed on improving safety measures of the railways.
Starting his speech by thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairman Sonia Gandhi, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and the leader of opposition, Trivedi said:" Safety in India must be benchmarked against Europe and Japan."
"I am not satisfied with (the railway) safety standards in India. Our target should be zero deaths. 60 percent deaths happen at unmanned level crossings," he said, adding that the Railways planned to eliminate unmanned crossings by 2017.
Trivedi's Rail Budget is expected to follow the broad directions laid down by his predecessor Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee had as Railway Minister last year announced measures to connect the seven capitals of the Northeast region to the rail network.
The rail budget is normally presented in the last week of February, but it was postponed this year due to the assembly polls in five states of the country.
According to experts, the Railway Minister may move some proposals to mop up resources for speedy completion of rail projects.
Indian Railways is a vital national transportation grid for the country's 1.2 billion people.
Indian Railways has 114,500 kilometers of total track over a route of 65,000 kilometers and 7,500 stations. It has the world's fourth largest railway network after those of the United States, Russia and China.
The railways carry over 30 million passengers and 2.8 million tons of freight daily. It is the world's second largest commercial or utility employer, by number of employees, with more than 1.36 million employees in its organisation. (ANI)
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