Nitish Kumar dubs Rail Budget 'disappointing'
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday described the Rail Budget as "disappointing" and alleged that while Congress ruled states were given sops, other states including Bihar have been neglected.
"The Rail Budget for 2013-14 is disappointing," Kumar, who served as Railway Minister in the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, told reporters here.
He accused the UPA II government of "lacking courage" and resorting to "cleverness" by increasing fares in the month of January itself and not announcing any hike in the budget presented in Parliament today.
"On the one hand the government is claiming it did not raise fare but on the other hand other charges of tatkal and cancellation etc have been increased which will adversely hit the passengers," he said.
"No new train has been given to Bihar despite the fact that it has maximum number of train travellers in the country. Besides, fund for past projects like rail bridge over Ganga at Patna and Munger has also not been allocated," he said.
In a veiled attack on his rival Lalu Prasad Yadav, Kumar said "the condition of Railways started deteriorating since days of UPA I (when Prasad was Railways Minister) and the speed has increased with passing of times."
Taking a potshot at the current Railways Minister for announcing search of new technology to stop collision of trains, Kumar sought to know why anti-collision devices developed by the Konkan Railways, which he had introduced during his time in NF Railways and which yielded good results, was stopped.
Kumar also criticised the announcement of new projects without making proper arrangements for gathering funds and taking other clearances. "The NDA government had stopped this practise (announcing projects without required clearances) but its been resumed again now, which is unfortunate," he added.