The Railway Budget presented in Parliament on Tuesday drew flak from South Central Railway Mazdoor Union (SCRMU) and SCR Employees’ Sangh (SCRES), which termed it as extremely disappointing. According to them, the budget has left out some major electrification projects in the Vijayawada division, and that there is no mention of the proposed Railway zone for south coastal A.P in it.

SCRMU divisional secretary G.N. Srinivasa Rao said the budget had nothing useful for the common man, and that the only saving grace was the introduction of a daily air-conditioned train to New Delhi from Vijayawada. “It is satisfying that this new train will be the seventh express train originating from Vijayawada, but it will be beyond the reach of most people who cannot afford the luxury of travelling in it, thanks to high fares,” he said

According to him, the division got nothing, as pending projects remained objects of neglect. “The budget is also silent on the South Coastal Zone despite speculation that its headquarters is going to be set up either in Vijayawada or Visakhapatnam. It should have been on the Railway Ministry’s agenda and found place in the budget speech so that apprehensions could be cleared,” Mr. Rao added.

SCRES divisional secretary B.V. Chalapathi Rao said the budget had nothing to be elated with. “It is unfortunate that financial allocations have not been made for pending projects in the State,” he said.

SCRMU electric loco shed branch secretary R. Bhupendra said the long-pending demand for a periodic overhauling workshop (POH) that can facilitate quick turnaround of locomotives, continued to be overlooked. “Vijayawada has trained manpower and infrastructure including land required for establishing POH, but the Railway Ministry did not consider it fit to give it a shape for reasons best known to itself,” Mr. Bhupendra added.

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