They criticise Centre for imposing additional burden on people

Though Vijayawada junction is the second busiest junction in the country, least priority has been given for the division in the budget and injustice has been done to the State as a whole in the Railway budget, alleged leaders of various political parties.

Protesting against the increase in passenger fares, activists of CPI (M) staged a dharna in front of the Vijayawada Railway Station on Wednesday.

They raised slogans against the Union Railway Minister for not giving priority in allocation of funds and sanctioning new lines.

Even as 34 MPs were representing Andhra Pradesh, injustice was done to the State and the Centre, they alleged.

The party leaders called upon the activists to organise protests against the budget. Opposing the hike in platform tickets from Rs.3 to Rs.5 and other fares, CPI (M) city unit secretary Ch. Babu Rao said the hike in air-conditioned fare will impose an additional burden of Rs.105 crore on the passengers.

The leaders criticised the Centre for not allocating funds for improvement of Rayanapadu Wagon Workshop, setting up coach factory, development of smaller stations.

They also criticised the Minister for not allotting new trains to Hyderabad, Nagapatnam, Visakhapatnam, and Shirdi from Vijayawada.

Welfare Party of India Krishna district president Mohammad Sadiq Mohiddin demanded the Centre to withdraw the hiked railway fares.

CPI leader K. Subba Raju and city secretary D. Shankar said once again injustice was done to the State in the budget and the 30 percent hike in parcel services will increase the transport fares.

Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao said Guntur division has got its due in the budget.

He said Bibinagar-Nallapadu line doubling project was sent to the Planning Commission for appraisal and Nallapadu-Guntakal section electrification project and Bibinagar-Nallapadu electrification survey were sanctioned.

Tenali-Guntur line doubling and electrification would be taken up in April 2012.

Macherla, Piduguralla, Sattenapalli and Vinukonda were declared as mode stations.

MLC K.S. Lakshman Rao said the Railway budget was disappointing. He expressed regret that Congress MPs have failed in getting new trains sanctioned for the State.

Former Rajya Sabha member Yelamanchili Sivaji said the focus in the budget was on Hyderabad and Secunderabad and most proposals from the State remained pious hopes.

Barring new trains linking the twin cities to various parts of the country, Andhra Pradesh has virtually got nothing in the Budget presented with much hype by the Minister for Railways Dinesh Trivedi.

Projects in Guntur district were confined to rhetoric