The Railway Budget for 2009-10 evoked mixed reaction in Gujarat on Friday. Terming the budget as a hasty job,the Gujarat BJP said that gross
injustice has been done to the state. The Congress on the other hand has called it a passenger-friendly budget. While welcoming the decision not to change fares and freights,the trade and commerce section has complained about the absence of new trains.
Though BJP MP from Ahmedabad (East) Harin Pathak said most of the demands of Gujarat have been ignored,he accepted that some of the objective demands raised by him had been met in the Budget. Pathak said he would meet Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee in the next few days and take up matters pertaining to Gujarat.
The Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lamented that only three of the 57 new trains announced today will connect Gujarat to other parts of the country. However,GCCI president Rupesh Shah welcomed the announcement of a non-stop train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in view of the increased traffic between the two cities. Shah also said that the
availability of tickets in post offices was the right step.
Terming the IJJAT scheme under which the poor will now be able to travel 100km for Rs 25 as a populist measure,Shah said,The only thing which has to be seen now is that it should reach the needy.
He also lamented the secrecy shrouding the commercial use of surplus land available with the railways and the non-materialisation of the bullet train between Ahmedabad and Pune despite the promise of former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Calling Banerjees announcement of two trains for Gujarat and upgradation as superficial,Federation of Industries Association president
KT Patel said,Gujarat has been missing in all the rail budgets presented in the last few years. The state is not getting its due. There should be more local trains between Vadodara-Ahmedabad and Vadodara-Surat to ease the traffic.
He further added that despite the industrialisation of Gujarat,the industries had not benefited from the freight containter trains.
We expected some freight trains and sops for the industry in the Railway Budget, said Patel.
Nilesh Shukla,president of Vadodara Chamber of Commerce and Industries said: We had hoped to see some upgradation of the Vadodara railway station. We have been hearing about it for the last several years,but nothing has materialised so far. We want some new tracks and more local trains,which can transport people within different cities of Gujarat. The frequency of the trains should have been increased.