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Keep trains clean, please, Sonia Gandhi says

Posted on Nov 07, 10:04PM | IANS

Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday asked the railways to keep the trains neat and clean.

"The railways should pay attention to cleanliness," Gandhi said at a public meeting after formally opening a rail coach factory in her Lok Sabha constituency here.

She added that she was happy to know that Indian trains would soon get bio-technology toilets.

Indian trains every day ferry 23 million passengers on one of the world's largest rail networks. Cleanliness has been a recurring issue on the country's passenger trains.

The coach factory she dedicated at Lalganj was the third such factory in India, Gandhi said.

The government has invested more than Rs.2,500 crore in the factory, Gandhi said, highlighting the new techniques used to manufacture coaches so that they could be eco-friendly.

"When I laid the foundation of the factory, many canards were spread," Gandhi said, adding that small industries would benefit and jobs would be available as the coach factory starts production.

She also announced the doubling of the Utratia-Rae Bareli railway line, the construction of a multi-functional complex and modernization of the Rae Bareli railway station.

Gandhi will also hand over job offers to 613 farmers whose lands were acquired for the factory.

Railway Minister Pawan Bansal said the factory would produce 1,000 stainless steel coaches this year. Its capacity would go up gradually to 2,500 coaches over a few years.

The inauguration of the factory was earlier scheduled for July 7, 2011. However, that date had to be put off as farmers who had given their lands for the project were yet to get jobs in the railways as promised.

The factory is spread over 550 hectares and was set up at a cost of Rs.1,685 crore.