Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday inaugurated the Anand Vihar railway terminal here which is the first major passenger terminal in the trans-Yamuna area and will cater to East-bound trains.

“The new terminal is also a boon to the people of East Delhi in terms of passenger amenities, communications, infrastructure and industry,” Ms. Banerjee said.

Highlighting the Indian Railways as a passenger friendly mode of transport Ms. Banerjee said: “While 30,000 people travel daily by air, 1.8 million people travel by train each day. Comparisons between air travel and travel by railways are unfair as the Indian Railways provides a cheap and an environment friendly mode of transport.”

Waving green flags, the Railway Minister and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit flagged off two new trains through remote control – the Anand Vihar-Lucknow Special Train and the Ghaziabad-New Delhi Ladies Special Train.

The augmentation in the number of coaches of the Delhi-Panipat EMU from 12 to 15 was also announced.

“The Indian Railways used to have the second largest network. Now it has slipped to the third or the fourth position,” Ms. Banerjee said.

According to the Union Minister, the country was lagging behind due to lack of monetary investment in railways. “The Chinese Government has invested three billion dollars in railways,” she said, adding that the railways systems of Switzerland, Russia and some other countries are advanced owing to the money invested for their development.

Despite hindrances, Ms. Banerjee said, the Indian Railways would still try to be number one. The railways would use its surplus land to develop auto-hubs in the country and multi-functional complexes, she added.

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