Naveen disappointed by rail budget
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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 introduced."

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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