Railways Minister Sadananda Gowda has sought Rs 9,000 crore extra from the Finance Ministry in the gross budgetary support (GBS) for his department citing the need for critical safety upgrade, especially in the wake of recent train mishaps.
The total amount that the Railways has sought in the upcoming budget is Rs 38,000 crore, which includes money to be spent on national projects and execution of Dedicated Freight Corridor.
In the interim rail budget, the Railways had received Rs 29,000 crore as GBS and around Rs 12,000 crore as cess.
While it was understood that the money would not be revised in the fresh budget, a case has been made for more allocation citing safety requirements. Rs 38,800 crore, incidentally, is the amount earmarked in the 12th Plan for annual GBS to the Railways.
Irani demands rail sops for Amethi
Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who gave a tough fight to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, met Gowda Thursday and presented a list of demands endorsed by the local BJP leaders.
The demands include a new trains to link Amethi, Rae Bareli and Allahabad, upgrade of Amethi and Gauriganj stations, stoppages of trains at Nihalgarh, and extension of a few trains. With Irani believed to enjoy goodwill of BJP bosses and PM Narendra Modi, it could be hard for Railways to overlook her demands. ENS