The Railways are all set to launch over 100 projects for commercially exploiting its lands.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday announced that the Railway Board had created a land bank of about 1.12 lakh hectares to unlock value and rake in revenue for the department. .

Stressing that the committees set up under Amit Mitra and Sam Pitroda were doing a good job, Ms. Banerjee said that efforts were also underway to exploit the air space available with the Railways. Platforms would be created over the tracks for setting up parks and hotels.

Ms. Banerjee also announced that the Board had cleared the payment of 60 per cent arrears to the employees as due under the recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission. “You will also get a good bonus this year,” she said.

Claiming that the staff and the officers had been performing well, Ms. Banerjee said 70 per cent of the commitments made in the budget had been fulfilled in less than 60 days.

Inaugurating the new building at the Delhi Cantonment Railway Station, she also promised to set up a cold storage chain at various stations for the benefit of farmers. Most of the new projects would be taken up under the public-private partnership mode.

Minister of State for Railways E. Ahmad, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, attended the function.

Ms. Banerjee flagged off the first Tej Shree Parcel Sewa between Tughlakabad and Vapi in Gujarat and the tri-weekly Delhi Sarai Rohilla — Sadalpur Pragati Express. Two more super-fast parcel trains to Howrah and Chennai would be launched soon. The Railways intend to return to the consignor the five per cent super-fast surcharge in case the train reaches its destination behind schedule.

1.12 lakh hectares will be commercially used to rake in revenue

The Railways’ air space would also be used to set up parks and hotels over tracks

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