As Lok Sabha discussed the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) during the Question Hour Wednesday, Trinamool Congress floor leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay took upon himself to answer a politically-loaded query by the CPM that was meant for the treasury benches.
“I am giving that reply on behalf of you (treasury benches) with credit to the Trinamool government under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee,” said Bandyopadhyay after CPM’s Mohammad Salim ended up provoking him by questioning the delay in Kolkata East-West Metro project.
Taking a swipe at both leaders, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that it was “a very unique way of one member’s question being answered by another member…I really endorse this great innovation. So, you are sparing us of our trouble”. However, it was Prabhu who finally answered the question that was originally meant for Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
As Salim sought information about the progress of the project, Naidu passed the buck to Prabhu saying,”The Kolkata Metro is dealt by the Railway department.” He told the Speaker that Prabhu “will be able to give us good information” on the matter.
Bandyopadhyay intervened after Salim pointed out that the Kolkata project was meant to be a time-bound programme and the delay was leading to a cost-escalation. “As the local MP of Kolkata and due to the intervention of the Chief Minister, there was a meeting at my house regarding the major problems which are raised by the Railway authorities. You will be glad to know that in the last week, the General Manager (Railways), Urban Development Ministry officials — all came together, and these problems have already been sorted out and this matter is going to be implemented very soon….,” said Bandyopadhyay.
Prabhu responded by saying: “Let me give you the factual position. A few months ago, I had a very long meeting with the West Bengal Chief Minister. We have prepared a concrete action plan, including the East-West Corridor which was pending because of the funding issue.”