New Delhi: Suresh Prabhu today took over as the new Railway Minister and said rail safety and customer service would be his priorities, as he seeks to unleash the true potential of the transport behemoth.
"We have faced lots of challenges in running the railways in the past. We do have potential which has not been properly utilised," he told reporters after assuming charge. Prabhu, who took oath as a Cabinet minister yesterday shortly after he joined BJP from Shiv Sena, replacing SD Sadananda Gowda who was shifted to the Law ministry in the reshuffle.
Suresh Prabhu takes oath during a swearing-in ceremony at The Presidential Palace in New Delhi on November 9, 2014. Photo: AFP
"The Prime Minister has decided that the condition (of railways) has to change.Our two focus areas will be customer service and railway safety as passenger safety is increasingly becoming an area of concern," he said. Observing that the people have reposed lot of faith in the government, he said the steps they undertake in railways will be seen in due course of time.
"What we will do will be seen in due course of time, so no announcement will be made is the announcement," he said.
Prabhu said the economy is also dependent on railways. Railways are an integrating factor for the economy and,
"if we work in this direction we can propel economic growth," he said.
With the public transporter having the largest workforce in the country, Prabhu said addressing their concerns will also be high on his agenda as they are the driving force behind the railway's journey.