Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar asked his first Parliament Question in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, over three years after he was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member in the year 2012.
This may count as his first major intervention in Parliament through a written question to the Ministry of Railways which was answered through a written reply by the Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha on Friday. Tendulkar has also listed another question which is scheduled for an answer from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on December 7 on the issue of changes in provisions for issuing of driving licenses. Tendulkar is a member of the Parliament Committee on Information Technology from September 1, 2015.
On Friday, Tendulkar raised the question on the criteria for declaring suburban railway services as a separate zone. "Will the Minister of Railways be pleased to state the rationale behind creating a new zone for Kolkata Metro and whether it can be replicated in other cities such as Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi that also have similar suburban rail services; the criteria that a suburban railway system must fulfil to enable it to be notified as a separate zone; and whether the above three cities fulfil to enable it to be notified as a separate zone; and whether the above three cities fulfil that criteria and are eligible for being notified as separate zones?" asked Tendulkar's query in Rajya Sabha.
Manoj Sinha, the MoS Railways replied that Metro Railway, Kolkata is a one-of-a-kind stand-alone system on Indian Railways (IR) which operates only Metro services. "After taking this into consideration along with operational, administrative and other factors, the zonal railway status was granted to Metro Railway, Kolkata to, inter-alia, help this organization in its operations and in further expansion. In the Indian Railway system operational in other cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, the suburban railway traffic is run along with the mainline traffic, i.e. unified operation of all types of trains takes place on the same infrastructure viz. track, bridges, signalling, Over Head Equipment (OHE), etc. Creation of exclusive zones for suburban systems, operated by Indian Railways, in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai is not envisaged as segregation of suburban, non-suburban, freight traffic, etc. is not possible in these cities," Sinha said in his reply.