Against the backdrop of the Gorakhdham train mishap that has claimed 25 lives, new Railway Minister DV Sadanand Gowda today said railway safety was a matter of concern and listed safety, security and speed as his top priorities.
Promising to come up with a roadmap for the ministry, he said it is a priority sector for the BJP government and he would be seeking the Prime Minister's views on the subject as Narendra Modi has certain "ideas" about the development of railways.
On the Gorakhdham train mishap, the Minister told PTI, "The accident was unfortunate and it should not have happened. "I need to study in depth the issues involved as railway safety is a concern for us. I want to have detail discussion with railway officials about this. My priority is three Ses--safety, security and speed," Gowda, who would be visiting the accident site in UP tomorrow, said.
Two other Union ministers Kalraj Mishra and Gowda's deputy in the ministry Manoj Sinha visited the spot today. The death toll in the train mishap that took place near Sant Kabir Nagar in Uttar Pradesh has risen to 25 with preliminary report suggesting that a fracture in the tracks could have led to the accident.
Observing that there are many challenges confronting the Railways, Gowda said they would brace them and resolve the problems. The minister said he has to study all the issues in details and discuss with the Prime Minister the goals ahead. "I would discuss with my Prime Minister what is his idea and which aspect we should give focus...I need another 10 days time to come before the public to explain what is the road map before me," he said.
Asked about an ambitious project to run bullet trains in the country, he said the concept has already been emphasised by the Prime Minister during his election campaign. "Certainly, I will discuss with him," he added.