Rail Budget: some cheers,few whimpers for state

While Uttar Pradesh got a major share in the Railway Budget announced by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday,many are left disappointed.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow | Published: July 4, 2009 1:43 am

While Uttar Pradesh got a major share in the Railway Budget announced by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday,many are left disappointed.

In her budget speech,Mamata said work at the Rae Bareli Rail Coach factory would be accelerated. The factory is one of the dream projects of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in her constituency. Uttar Pradesh also got two of the 12 non-stop trains introduced under the “Duronto” scheme — Lucknow to Delhi and Allahabad to Delhi. These trains will run thrice a week.

At least five important cities of Uttar Pradesh were included in the list of 50 stations to be converted into world-class stations with international facilities. Lucknow,Varanasi,Kanpur,Agra Cantt,Mathura have been included in the list. Multipurpose premises are proposed to be constructed at Allahabad and Rae Bareli stations. Besides,a new track is proposed from Shahganj to Salon via Unchahar,Sultanpur and Amethi.

The state has also got some superfast trains like Gorakhpur to Mumbai,Varanasi to Mumbai and Lucknow to Agra.

The extension of Gomti Nagar railway station,due for the last six years,has been again ignored in the new budget. The railway station was the brainchild of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and all parties including the BJP,Samajwadi Party and the state Congress had demanded its conversion into a full-fledged railway station.

The demand was also placed before MoS Railways K H Muniyappa during his visit to Rae Bareli and Amethi in June.

“This budget is superficial. Such big announcements have been made in the past but were hardly implemented. The budget talks about developing stations into world-class stations but the Gomti Nagar railway station is catching dust,” said HN Dixit,spokesperson,Uttar Pradesh wing of the BJP. Many railway overbridges and extension of railway lines is due in the state but no attention is paid to them,he added.

The SP has also criticised the budget. “This is a popular budget. While UP has got some gifts,many expectations remain unfulfilled. The plan to connect Etawah,Saifai and Mainpuri to Agra should have been taken up with urgency,” said party spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary.

The Congress,hoping for a favourable budget considering its government at the Centre,is also disappointed as it had demanded halts for some trains at certain stations but most were ignored. “Budget mein kafi kuch hai UP ke liye but humari expectations kuch aur hi thi,” said a senior leader.

UP neglected in budget: Maya

Lucknow: Reacting to the Rail Budget,UP Chief Minister Mayawati said industrial,religious and other important places have been grossly neglected in the budget.

She said though the railway minister had referred to the policy of ‘inclusive development’ in her speech,no new initiative is taken to bring poor people living in remote areas to the mainstream.

Mayawati said the budget proposes only Rs 1 rebate in fare for poor people,but 2 per cent rebate has been proposed in fare for higher class. She said proposals made in the budget indicated that the ‘inclusive gowth’ slogan of the UPA government was hollow and misleading.

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