Cong hails Bansal’s budget as people friendly,BJP terms it pro-Congresshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/cong-hails-bansals-budget-as-people-friendly-bjp-terms-it-procongress-2/

Cong hails Bansal’s budget as people friendly,BJP terms it pro-Congress

The BJP criticised the Railway Budget presented by Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday,while the Congress hailed it as a people-friendly budget.

The BJP criticised the Railway Budget presented by Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday,while the Congress hailed it as a people-friendly budget. BJP leaders in the city termed it as a pro-Congress budget. They stated that Bansal had made the path easier for the Gandhi family for the forthcoming budget. Tandon stated that there is no relief given to the citizens.

“As an eye wash,no increase in the fare was declared,as a 21 per cent hike was announced last month. Apart from that,rates of railway freight,tatkal ticket,cancellation of ticket and surcharges have been increased to burden the common people. Increase in the railway freight will definitely affect essential commodities. Connectivity of Chandigarh to other stations should have been increased,” BJP leaders rued. Senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan said that the people of Chandigarh had great exceptions from the budget with Bansal being a local MP.

“Nothing has been granted. The increase in freight charges and surcharges of the railway has put more burden on industrialists,” Dhawan said.

The city unit of Congress applauded Bansal for the budget. Congress city unit chief B B Bahl said no hike in fares was a good sign. Chandigarh Congress spokesperson Pardeep Chhabra said that of the 67 trains introduced,five were for Chandigarh,and the city would be connected to many religious places. The budget also includes safety of women,as eight women Railway Protection Force squads will be added for the same. Congress leaders H S Lucky and Devinder Babla also appreciated the budget stating that there were several announcements that would benefit all sections of society.

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BSP convener Haffiz Anwar ul Haq said,“There will be a hike in the prices of tickets due to surcharges. While the Congress is praising the budget,there is nothing much to offer to the citizens.”

Residents give a thumbs up,hope promises turn into reality

“Since I travel by trains on a daily basis,it is great news that fares have not been increased this time,” said 24-year-old student Ankush Malhotra,heaving a sigh of relief,adding that promoting e-ticketing was the need of the hour.

City residents seemed to have welcomed the Railway Budget that was presented by Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday. However,the residents stated that the schemes that have been announced should be implemented at the earliest.

Manish Kumari,a 22-year-old nurse who works in Sector 22 said,“Safety issues should be seriously looked at. It becomes really tough when I have to travel by train for 7-8 hours to go to my hometown in Rajasthan. I hope that the proposed plan to increase the number of Railway Protection Force (RPF) women officials is implemented immediately.” On being asked about the helpline number being launched,she said,“I hope it works and remains active all the time”.

Considering the demands of young passengers,the railway minister has announced the extension of wi-fi facility to several trains. Also,the minister ensured availability of real time information,which will facilitate SMS alerts,to the passengers by December 2013.

The Indian Railways are the third largest in the world,but problems of poor sanitation,women safety,over-crowded coaches and huge rush for tatkaal reservation continue to worry passengers. Priyanka Dhiman (26),another nurse said,“It is uncomfortable to travel in filthy trains. Lets see how the budget pays heed to our demand regarding cleanliness”.

Buta Singh (65),a retired Punjab government official said,“Most trains are over crowded. No doubt that passenger traffic has increased by 5 per cent,so the number of trains should also be increased”.

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“The budget seems quite people-friendly,as no fares have been hiked. I hope that whatever has been presented gets implemented too,” said Paramjeet Singh (49),a government employee.