Lucknow: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday directed railway officials and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to pay attention to the cleanliness (saaf safai) of trains.
Addressing a public gathering at Lalganj in Rae Bareli, 78 km from here, the UPA chairperson said that she was happy to formally dedicate the rail coach factory here to the people of Rae Bareli, her parliamentary constituency.
She told her audience that the Lalganj coach factory was the third such factory in the country. The government has invested more than Rs.2,500 crore in the factory, Sonia Gandhi said, highlighting the new techniques being used to manufacture coaches here so that they could be eco-friendly.
"When I laid the foundation of the coach factory here, many canards were spread," Sonia Gandhi said, adding that since production has now begun at the site, small industries would benefit and job opportunities would arise.
Gandhi also announced the doubling of the Utratia-Rae Bareli rail line, the construction of a multi-functional complex and modernisation of the Rae Bareli railway station.
Sonia Gandhi will also hand over job offers to 613 farmers whose lands were acquired for the factory.
Railway Minister Pawan Bansal said that the factory here 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.