“Please don’t ask for lollipops,” Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told the Rajya Sabha members on Friday throwing his hands up on completing projects.

Replying to a question on the pending projects in Rajasthan, he said the Railways were not handing out lollipops annually but what was needed was the cooperation of members. The practice of announcing a plethora of projects in the annual projects had landed the Railways in an unenviable situation, so much so that the throw forward of pending projects were getting unmanageable even in financial terms.

As many as 343 projects, requiring about Rs. 1.47 lakh crore were pending and a decision was taken to prioritise projects on the basis where 50 per cent of the expenditure was entailed and complete them first before taking up the rest. The allocation was just about Rs. 5,000 crore for these projects and it was pertinent to analyse whether more was required for sanction in future .

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