Focus on modernisation hailed; protest against neglect of Kerala

The Railway Budget has evoked mixed response from different organisations.

“The Budget has been conceived with a long-term vision. It will help Railways wriggle out of the current financial crisis,” said P.T.S. Unni, president, Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said facilities of Railways would improve with foreign direct investment (FDI) and Public-Private-Participation. The proposal to provide safety, security, and hygiene was refreshing. Setting up a railway university and research centre was of significance. Allocating a substantial amount for railway expansion every year would help improve infrastructure and services, Mr. Unni said.

The Confederation of All India Rail Users’ Associations has also welcomed the maiden Budget presented by the Narendra Modi government. “However, it has utterly disappointed the State,” said A.V. Anoop, chairman, and C.E. Chakkunny, general convener, of the association.

They hailed the focus of the Budget on security, hygiene, infrastructure, completing projects in a time-bound manner, punctuality of trains, and on improving amenities at railway stations. He suggested that MPs, irrespective of political affiliations, and senior BJP leaders from the State should meet the Prime Minister and Union Railway Minister to secure more benefits for Kerala.

Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi State president T. Naseeruddin termed the Budget disheartening and with no advantage. There were no proposals on the Tirur-Guruvayur railway line and starting new trains to Mysore.

Meanwhile, activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and the Socialist Yuva Janata took out a march to the Kozhikode railway station in protest against the neglect of the Budget towards the State.