Naveen disappointed by rail budget

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 22:40

Bhubaneswar: Terming the Railway budget
as `extremely disappointing` for the state, Odisha Chief
Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said increase in passenger fares
would adversely affect the common man.

While the state government had demanded an allotment
of Rs 2345 crore for ongoing projects during the 2012-13
fiscal, Odisha received only Rs 714 crore.

The allocation of funds for new lines, gauge
conversion, doubling and electrification for 2012-13 was Rs
713.98 crore as against Rs 1361.67 crore for 2011-12.

"This is grossly insufficient considering the
requirement of ongoing projects in the state and completely
falls short of our legitimate demand," Patnaik told reporters
adding that allotment for the state was half of its demands.

Though the state demanded introduction of 19 express
train to important destination, only 6 new trains were
sanctioned, the chief minister said. "In fact, some trains
announced in the last Budget speech are still to be

The Koraput-Sambalpur Passenger and Vishakhapatanam-
Sambalpur Express were two trains yet to be introduced,
Patnaik said.

"We have been demanding expansion of the rail network
and improving rail services in underdeveloped areas and have
been requesting the Ministry of Railways to treat them as
National Projects, but they were not considered. This is very
disappointing," the chief minister said.

Stating that special need of industries in the state
require support of robust rail infrastructure, Patnaik said
"We find that the central government is completely insensitive
to our demands."

The promised World Class railway station for
Bhubaneswar and Puri have not materialised though they were
announced in 2010, Patnaik said.

The ruling BJD planned a series of agitations against
the Centre`s alleged negligence towards the state,
particularly in railway sector.

The opposition Congress also did not welcome the
railway budget. "Odisha has been neglected once again," said
former railway minister and senior Congress leader K C Lenka.


First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 22:40

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