Piyush Goyal, re-assigned the charge of the crucial railway ministry, is likely to focus on safety, generation of non-fare revenue, track renewal, modernisation and increase in the production of state-of-the-art coaches in his second stint at the helm of the national transporter, official sources said on Friday.
Goyal, having achieved the lowest accident figures in his previous tenure, had repeatedly said that his goal was to reach the zero accident standard.
His biggest challenge would be to maintain the record by timely track maintenance and renewal. His aim would be to ensure that railway factories ramp up production of state-of-the-art coaches for trains such as Vande Bharat Express so that more such services can be introduced.
Goyal, who had pushed for generating resources through non-fare revenue, had hit a stonewall during his last stint, but the minister is likely to drive this idea as he believes that this will bring in additional funds to boost the beleaguered railways & finances.
Known to work with a team of around 20 trusted advisors, mostly graduates of top business schools, Goyal keeps track of every operational detail through spreadsheets and is usually quick with facts and figures.
Not shy of keeping bureaucrats in line, Goyal burns the midnight oil reading reports and documents related to different aspects of his ministry.
Active on Twitter, Goyal even responds to passengers’ queries.
In his first stint as railway minister, Goyal, a Rajya Sabha member, achieved several firsts — it was during his tenure the government announced its first bullet train which would run from Mumbai to Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, manufactured its first indigenously-built and engine-less high-speed train Vande Bharat Express, commissioned its longest bridge, converted a diesel loco into an electric one for the first time, built its first transport university, and its first air-conditioned local train.
The national transporter also registers the lowest accident rate in the past three decades during Goyal’s tenure.