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Adhir asks Mamata to clear her stand on NDA support

Last Updated: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 00:15

New Delhi: Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today said TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee should make her stand clear on support to NDA government.

"Mamata should declare her stand...Whom she will support, NDA or UPA. If NDA comes to power, will she support Narendra Modi as Prime Minister," Chowdhury said when asked about Mamata`s recent statement that general elections will be held in three-four months and TMC will come back to Rail Bhawan.

"Mamata`s popularity is waning rapidly. Only time will tell who will come here," the Congress leader said.

He alleged that "All rail projects announced for West Bengal in the last three years are lying idle and no tangible progress has been made".

Giving status report of 18 rail projects announced during the TMC regime in Rail Bhawan, he said, "Inspite of huge fund infusion, no progress has been made in the projects yet."

"These were announced without feasibility study and statutory clearances. Projects were announced for the sake of announcement without proper planning," he alleged.

Asked whether the projects will be dropped by the government now, Chowdhury said, "Though Railways is facing a severe financial crunch, we are not for scrapping these projects. There is no question of discrimination against any projects. We want the execution of these projects".

Blaming the TMC government for the non-execution of the projects, he said, "The state is not cooperating with us. These projects are facing many hurdles like land acquisition, non-cooperation of state administration".

He said there are 35 projects which have to be implemented on cost-sharing basis with the state government but they were not moving forward.

However, he said there are no talks at the political level to sort out the hurdles. "Railway officials are regularly meeting state officials to sort out the issues but no discussion has taken place at political levels".

There are 347 ongoing projects worth Rs 1.47 lakh crore out of which 75 projects are in Bengal.

Referring to the popular mountain rail in Darjeeling hills, he said the toy train which is recognised by UNESCO has been non-operational for the last two and half years. "But the state is not doing anything to revive the toy train," he said.


First Published: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 00:15

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