Chief Minister Anandiben Patel has welcomed the Railway budget calling it ‘public need oriented’. Patel specially welcomed specific provisions for cleanliness, women passengers’ safety, old persons and infants. However, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki said Railway budget as highly “disappointing.”
She cited various Gujarat-centric announcements like formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for implementing Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. Thanking the Union Railway Minister over Gujarat specific projects, she mentioned proposals for a Railway University at Vadodara, suburban train service for Ahmedabad, inclusion of Dwarka in Astha Circuit and development of Nargol-Hazira Port connectivity on PPP mode.
The Ministry of Railway will enter into an agreement with the state government for implementation and financing of the proposed suburban system under new investment framework.
Addressing media here, Western Railway Divisional Manager Rahul Agrawal said the proposed suburban system would neither duplicate nor render redundant the Metro rail project currently under implementation in Ahmedabad. Besides this, he said, an SPV would be formed in 2016-17 for implementation of the bullet train project. He said suburban railway project would cater to demand from nearby towns on the existing tracks. Curiously, MPs from Gujarat across party lines had raised fervent demand for shifting of the headquarters of WR from Mumbai to Ahmedabad. But the budget does not mention this.
Meanwhile, describing the Railway Budget as highly “disappointing” for Gujarat, state Congress president Bharatsinh Solanki has said that “injustice has been done to Gujarat in the Railway Budget 2016-17’’. He said that no new trains had been introduced from anywhere in the state while the number of passengers had increased many fold because of migration of people from other states. He said BJP also failed to shift headquarters of the WR to Ahmedabad.
The Railway Budget, he said, also did not make it clear by what time the 1400 kms of Delhi-Mumbai Railway Corridor (DMRC), announced by the UPA government in 2014 railway budget, would be completed.