Though not tuned to requirements of people, it is better than last year’s budget: State Congress Committee

The budget presented by Railway Minister Pavan Kumar Bansal for 2013-14 has drawn flak from Opposition parties for ignoring the State’s interests.

Even the State Congress Committee said that the railway budget was not tuned to the requirements and aspirations of people but was better than last year’s budget.

Expressing dissatisfaction, TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu said that a slew of pending projects in Andhra Pradesh had not been cleared and proposals for new trains and lines were confined to the drawing board.

The discrimination shown to the State, which contributed a higher share of the revenues to Indian Railways than Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and other States, was unpardonable, he said at a press conference in Chatragadda village in Guntur during his padayatra on Tuesday.

Mr. Naidu regretted that 11 Ministers from the State, including the Union Minister of State for Railways, failed to get the people’s aspirations fulfilled.

Of 67 express trains sought to be introduced in the State, only eight were given the green signal and three out of 59 new lines were given formal sanction.

The Railway Minister resorted to backdoor methods of raising funds which would entail a huge burden on the travelling public.

Anti-poor: YSRC

The YSR Congress slammed the rail budget as anti-poor and said the State which had sent the maximum number of MPs to the Lok Sabha got a raw deal in terms of new lines and projects. The projects announced in the budget should be time-bound to have more sanctity.

Terming the budget disappointing, BJP national executive member Bandaru Dattatreya and State president and MLA G.Kishan Reddy said injustice was done to the railway projects and new rail lines related to the State. There was no mention about the second phase of MMTS in Hyderabad.

The Lok Satta Party national president Jayaprakash Narayan termed the railway budget as status quoist and pedestrian. “The Union Government neither has the will nor imagination to make transport network the engine of growth,” he said. New projects were being announced even as projects worth Rs.2 lakh crore had been pending.

Party State general secretary K.Srinivasa Rao said the long pending request for inclusion of Visakhapatnam division in the South Central Railway had been ignored.

May fuel inflation

The CITU termed the budget as anti-people. The proposal to impose fuel adjustment rates on freight would further push up prices of essential commodities.

Congress spokesperson N.Thulasi Reddy, however, welcomed the sanction of a railway wagon workshop to Kurnool, rail water bottling plant at Vijayawada, modernisation of Visakhapatnam railway station for the convenience of tourists, railway integrated development centre at Secunderabad, and skill training centres in Kazipet. He also hailed sanction of new railway lines and projects.