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  4. 'Manmohan’s 10-year-rule was a waste:' Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw at India TV Chunav Manch conclave

'Manmohan’s 10-year-rule was a waste:' Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw at India TV Chunav Manch conclave

The Railway minister also said that Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that even AC coaches in trains have become crowded because railways have reduced the number of general and sleeper coaches is completely baseless.

Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Published on: April 24, 2024 18:24 IST
Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav
Image Source : INDIA TV Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnav

Railway and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday said that during Dr Manmohan Singh’s rule, Indian economy stagnated at eleventh rank from 2004 till 2014, while Modi took the economy to fifth rank in the last 10 years.

 
Replying to questions at India TV’s day-long conclave ‘Chunav Manch’ here, Vaishnaw said: “Dr Manmohan Singh may be a noted economist, but when he became Prime Minister in 2004 after taking over from Atal Bihari Vajpayee, India’s GDP ranking was eleventh. From 2004 to 2014, the Indian economy continued to remain at 11th rank. The ten years of Manmohan Singh’s rule were a waste. In 2014, when Narendra Modi took over, he took India’s economy in ten years to 5th rank today. And today, he is promising to take India’s GDP ranking to third position in his third term.”
 
“Think of the huge work done in railways, highways, ports, other infrastructure during these 10 years, 80 crore poor Indians are getting 5 kg foodgrains free every month, 40 crore poor Indians are getting free medical treatment up to Rs 5 lakh under Ayushman scheme, and recently, Modi has announced, all Indians in the age group 70 years and above, belonging to any strata of society, will get free medical treatment under Ayushman up to Rs 5 lakhs”, Vaishnaw said.
 
The Railway Minister said, “ if Modi can do so many things after taking India to 5th position, think about what the common Indians will get when our economy reaches the 5th rank in world GDP list. “
 
Vaishnaw promised that waiting lists of Railway travellers “will practically end when railway capacity building will be expanded in the next five to seven years. He blamed the former railway ministers, saying, “When Lalu Ji and Mamata Banerjee were railway ministers, they used to announce new trains without expanding railway capacity. When Modi became prime minister in 2014, more stress was laid on railway capacity building.”
 
Citing figures, the Railway Minister said,  “During 10 years of UPA regime, only 5,000 km railway tracks were electrified, but in the last 10 years, a whopping 44,000 km railway tracks have been electrified. During 10 years of UPA rule, 17,000 new tracks were laid, but in the last 10 years, 37,000 km of new tracks have been laid. This comes to 14.5 km per day average compared to only 4 km per day during the previous regime….During UPA rule, not a single station was redeveloped from 2004 to 2014, but in the last 10 years, 1,320 stations are being redeveloped as part of the world’s largest station redevelopment program . During 10 years of UPA rule, only 32,000 rail coaches were manufactured, but in the last 10 years, 54,000 rail coaches were manufactured.  During previous regime, only 2,000 electric locomotives were made, but in the last 10 years, 6,500 electric locomotives were manufactured. ..Not a single km work was done on dedicated freight corridors, but in the last 11 years, work was done on 2,700 km.”
 
On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that even AC coaches in trains have become crowded because railways have reduced the number of general and sleeper coaches,  Ashwini Vaishnaw replied: “This is an incorrect and baseless allegation. Two-thirds of railway coached are non-AC and only one-third coaches are AC, and that is the standard ratio that is being followed since long….Two Amrit Bharat express have been launched, one from Malda and the other from Bihar to Delhi, which are non-AC. They are so attractive that there is nearly 180 per cent occupancy. They are world class standard non-AC trains.”

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