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Chance meeting with railway minister in flight helps entrepreneur pitch business proposal

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NewsDrum Desk
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Kolkata, Feb 8 (PTI) Entrepreneur Akshay Satnaliwala could hardly imagine that a business proposal to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on a paper napkin during a flight would spring the railway administration in action in no time.

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Eastern Railway general manager Milind K Deouskar and other senior officers met Satnaliwala at the ER headquarters here and discussed the freight prospects suggested by his firm, an official said here on Thursday.

ER spokesperson Kausik Mitra said Satnaliwala, director of a solid waste management company in West Bengal, "explained the schematic flow of solid waste to various industries with prospective buyers in different parts of the country like Raipur in Chhattisgarh and Rajgangpur in Odisha and other clusters through the railways." He said the ER general manager, responding to the business proposals by Satnaliwala, offered flexible terms for carrying solid and other waste through the railway route as a cheaper mode of transportation.

"Such bulk quantity transport of solid and plastic waste through the railway route will not only be beneficial for the company, but will help in recycling of waste thereby reducing pollution at the same time," Mitra said.

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The Kolkata-based entrepreneur, who was in the same Delhi-Kolkata flight with Vaishnaw on February 2, hurriedly wrote a proposal for solid waste movement by railway freight on a paper napkin as that was the only piece of paper that he could lay his hands on at that time.

"Sir, if you allow, I would like to present how railways can be an integral part in the supply chain of AFR (alternative fuel and raw material) to cement plants and also contribute to our Prime Minister's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan," Satnaliwala said.

The young entrepreneur had managed to hand over the handwritten business proposal to Vaishnaw during the midnight flight on February 2. To his surprise, he received a call from the ER GM's office within six minutes of landing at the NSCBI Airport here and a meeting with Deouskar was scheduled on February 6.

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Satnaliwala was asked by senior ER officials to submit a proposal for station to station rate facility with a commitment of traffic movement, Mitra said.

The entrepreneur thanked the railway minister and the ER for responding to his appeal.

"I am happy that the railway ministry has acknowledged my proposal and given me a chance to present it in presence of all senior officials of Eastern Railway," Satnaliwala said. PTI AMR BSM MNB

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