DAVOS: Railway minister Piyush Goyal, who wants to “bring the charm back to train travel”, feels there is no alternative to pressing ahead with the modernisation of Indian Railways, and politics should not be seen in everything ranging from the bullet train project to Davos visit of the prime minister and other ministers.
Goyal, who was here to participate in the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting from January 22-26 and took the first hand experience of travelling in the famous mountain rail on his way back from Davos, said his aim remains to bring back the charm of train travel in India.
He also said that the trains in Switzerland are mostly about the passenger travel, whereas in India freight trains are as important as the passenger trains.
With some opposition parties having raised question about the need for bullet trains in India, Goyal said it would be wrong to say that it becomes frustrating for him to hear political criticism about modernisation plans and bullet train like projects.
“It is not frustrating at all. There may be some misconceptions some people may have and it is my duty to clear those misconceptions. I feel modern technologies have to be introduced and that is in the interest of the nation. All can go together when it comes to modern technologies and requirements of the people. We have to improve the existing systems and also bring in new technologies with equal focus on both of them,” Goyal said.
On criticism from some quarters about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Davos months before the elections and whether there could be any political link to it, Goyal said it is wrong to link everything to elections and these are mere political conspiracies.
“Why do you see politics in everything? The prime minister has also said that politics should not be seen in everything the government does. The government has got a mandate and it is working on structural changes that it needs to bring in.
The nation has gone above politics and the focus is on improving the future of the people,” Goyal said.