The Union Minister of Railways Dinesh Trivedi has said that “the Railways will give top priority for the safety of passengers particularly the women.”

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for Kanjikode Rail Coach Factory here on Tuesday the Minister said that “a special unit of women Railway Protection Force (RPF) will be constituted to provide security to women passengers. All the evening trains will be provided with women RPF security,” he said.

He said that the Government recently received a report of a committee headed by Anil Kakkodkar on the safety measures to be taken in Railways. This report is under the serious consideration of Railways.

Mr. Trivedi has said that the Coach factory being set up at Kanjikode will be the most modern Coach factory in the world to manufacture light weight-energy efficient aluminium coaches.

“It is only the first phase we are taking up now to produce 400 coaches annually with an investment of Rs.550 crore. It could be expanded as the Railways needed large number of coaches to replace the old ones and to start new train services,” the Minister said.

He said that Kanjikode Coach factory is set up under Public Private Participation (PPP).

The main objective of the Railways is ‘safety, development and consolidation’.

To meet the growing demand, Railways have to be modernized. There should be doubling and trebling of railway lines. Modernisation of railway stations to the standards of Airports is the aim of Railways.

“For this, resources have to be found out. One way is to provide Budgetary support. The other is joint venture and the third option is to mobilize fund through bonds,” Mr. Trivedi said.

He said that the Government is awaiting a report on the modernisation of Railways by a committee headed by Sam Pitroda.

“We wanted to modernize the entire Railway system and take it to the next generation to fulfil the aspirations of the people”, the Railway Minister said.

In his presidential address, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has urged the Union Railway Minister to accord the final sanction for the Kochi Metro rail project.

He also demanded a railway zone for Kerala and sanction for the High Speed Railway Corridor from Kasargod to Thiruvanathapuram.

The Chief Minister urged the Railway Minister to start the new trains announced in the last Railway budget. And also more MEMU services between the main cities of the State.

Mr. Chandy has also urged the Railway Minister to ensure the protection of women passengers. He has referred the gruesome murder of Sowmya last year while travelling from Kochi to Shoranur.

The Chief Minister promised the service of Kerala police in providing security to the rail passengers along with the RPF.

He described the foundation stone laying of the Coach factory as the best example of co-operation between the State government and the Central government.

He suggested the Railway Minister to manufacture eco-friendly green toilet coaches at Kanjikode rail coach factory.

He promised that the State government will provide all necessary help including more land for the expansion of rail coach factory at Kanjikode.

The Minister for Power Aryadan Mohammed handed over land plan of the Rail Coach Factory to the Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi at the function.

The meeting was addressed by Union Minister of State for Railways K.H. Muniyappa,

K.E. Ismail, M.B. Rajesh (M.Ps), Shafi Parambil, M.L.A, Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, Member, Mechanical, Sanjiv Handa, Deepak Krishan, General Manager, Southern Railway, District Panchayat President T.N. Khandamuthan, Municipal Chairman Abdul Khudoos, Pudussery Grama Panchayat President K.N. Sreedevi and Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager Piyush Agarwal were also participated in the function.