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Rail Budget disappoints southern states

Suresh Prabhu’s rail budget has failed to meet the expectations of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu chief ministers, writes Vijay Grover from Bengaluru

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Feb 25 2016 9:00PM | Updated Date: Feb 25 2016 9:25PM

Rail Budget disappoints southern states

 Suresh Prabhu’s rail budget has failed to meet the expectations of Karnataka and, thus, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is not impressed. Jayalalithaa also is none too happy. Yet, she is not as scathing as her Karnataka counterpart.


Speaking to the media on Thursday, Siddaramaiah said, "The Rail minister has given nothing to Karnataka except the announcement of the Suburban Rail Project. Even on that count there is no clarity on how the State Government will have to fund it".


The Budget envisages setting up a better suburban rail infrastructure which will meet the commuting needs of the fast growing Bengaluru city. While there are existing skeletal services which ply connecting the city with satellite towns of Bangarpet, Ramangaram and Chikkaballapur, they don’t meet the requirements of the daily passengers.


Siddaramaiah lamented that despite his Government coming forward to share the project costs on several projects the Railway Ministry has maintained silence on this. The Chief Minister blamed the four Union Ministers from the State of having failed to get any project. "The four ministers went around and said they will mount pressure. Yet, what we have got is nothing. I am totally disappointed with the Rail Budget which has offered virtually nothing," remarked Siddaramaiah.


Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said the rail budget presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has failed to meet the expectations of the people in Tamil Nadu.


With no new trains and no new railway lines were announced, she also expressed surprise over the fact that several projects in Tamil Nadu which she had requested recently were also not granted.


The upgrade of suburban transit systems in Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata have been dealt with in great detail. Yet, there are no specific plans in the case of Chennai which has the second most important suburban transit system after Mumbai.


Jayalalitha has welcomed the plan to set up a rail auto-hub in Chennai. Thanking the Railway Minister for the proposal to upgrade railway stations at the pilgrim centres of Nagapattinam and Velankanni, she said that Srirangam and Rameswaram should also be upgraded.


Railway Ministry has allocated Rs 2064 Crore for various railway projects in Tamil Nadu in the upcoming financial year (2016-17).


A survey will be undertaken for a new line between Dindigul - Sabarimala.