However, she urges the Centre to spare the common man of the ‘previous government’s policy of fuel price-linked fare increases.’

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is full of praise for the Railway Budget, saying that having recognised the deep financial crisis, it had provided a vision for the future.

She also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Railway Minister to spare the common people from the burden of further fare increases by not following the previous Government’s policy of fuel price linked fare increases.

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the Diamond Quadrilateral High Speed Rail network would be a game changer in terms of providing a transport infrastructure backbone for the country.

“Introduction of high speed bullet trains is an aspirational goal which will greatly enthuse the country. I urge that this technology should be next brought to Chennai, which closely followed Mumbai in the first introduction of railway services in the country in the 1850s!,” she said in a statement.

Welcoming the measures announced in the budget to improve the freight performance, she said the budget had rightly placed considerable emphasis on passengers' amenities, by improving cleanliness, security, catering, toilet and other facilities at stations and on trains.

“I welcome the Railway Minister’s proposal to work closely with the State Governments on several safety related initiatives including speedy conversion of unmanned level crossings and involving States in the monitoring of on-going projects. This reflects a new working style and culture which will augur well for speedier project implementation,” Ms. Jayalalithaa said.

The Chief Minister said the holistic approach proposed to achieve greater urban transport integration with Railways, had responded to a long standing request that her government has placed to integrate urban transportation in Chennai.

“I hope this also leads to an early decision on the handover of the MRTS network in Chennai to the Chennai Metro Rail Limited as I had already requested,” she said.

Expressing hope that with the priority being accorded to allocating funds to long-pending projects, some of the long-pending projects in Tamil Nadu would also be completed early, she welcomed he proposals to introduce new trains connecting Chennai to different parts of the country and the proposals for special trains to Melmaruvathur and Velankanni.