Dehradun: Noting that the new rail budget makes no provision either for survey of new tracks nor any announcement of new trains for Uttarakhand, Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Thursday said it has disappointed him not just as CM but also personally.
"It is for the first time that the rail budget makes no provision for survey of new tracks or construction of rail lines in Uttarakhand. Nor does it make any announcement about new trains in the state.
"This neglect of Uttarakhand has disappointed me not just as its chief minister but also as a person," Rawat told reporters here.
Describing railway minister Suresh Prabhu as a balanced and good man, he said he expected a lot from him.
"We had presumed that central Himalayan states like Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand which have long been neglected will get something in this budget but none of our expectations was fulfilled," he said.
"It is sad that despite being strategically important national rail projects, Rishikesh-Karnaprayag and Tankpur-Bageshwar?rail lines were struck off the list of prioritised rail projects and no budgetary allocations made for them," Rawat said.
No new trains were announced for Uttarakhand where there was a lot of scope for that. During UPA rule, 14 trains were begun for Haridwar and Rishikesh and eight for Kathgodam, he said.
However, Rawat said he will again meet the Railway Minister with his state-specific demands so that no injustice is done to Uttarakhand in the government's reply to the debate on the budget in Parliament.
The Chief Minister also expressed hope that the disappointment caused to Uttarakhand by the rail budget is at least partially counterbalanced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley when he tables the General Budget in Parliament on February 28.
He said he expected Jaitley to announce a green bonus for the state in return for the state's contribution to environment conservation efforts and a generous allocation for preparations in view of 2016 Ardha Kumbh to be held along the banks of the Ganga in Haridwar.