'Safety and security of passengers, expansion of railway infrastructure, improving punctuality, redress of public grievances and expediting railway projects in the NE will be my priority'
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, July 6: Four-time gaon MP Rajen Gohain on Wednesday took charge as Minister of State for Railways at Rail Bhavan.
Outlining his priorities after taking charge, Gohain said his first job will be to expedite the railway projects in NE region which are running behind schedule.
“A number of projects being implemented in the Northeastern region are suffering time as well as cost over-runs… like the Silchar-Lumding project, Tripura project and the Bogibeel project. My first job will be to fast-track these projects and then take up new ones,” he told reporters.
The track that traverses southern Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura was converted from metre gauge to broad gauge last year. However, within weeks, train services had to be suspended — first because of rain and landslides, and then due to loose soil beneath the railway track.
Gohain said he would also study the Look East policy and examine how the Railways can contribute to make the Northeast a hub of the policy.
“This besides, safety, security, expansion, growth, passenger amenities and public grievances will be given priority,” he said.
Gohain was elected from gaon to the Lok Sabha in 1999 and was re-elected in 2004, 2009 and 2014.
The proposed plan of the Railways for double-tracking the line in Assam and electrification will be among the major challenges before the new minister.
Gohain is the second MoS in the Railways ministry headed by Suresh Prabhu. The other MoS is Manoj Sinha.
Holding degrees in Arts and Law, Gohain has been active in social and political fields since his college days.
During his long parliamentary career, he has been a member of various committees, which include the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, Consultative Committee under the Ministry of Agriculture and Standing Committee on Water Resources.