Calling the Union Rail Budget disappointing Himachal Pradesh Chief Minster Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday said that the Central Government has once again ignored the interests of the people of the States.

Mr. Dhumal said that by not including Bhanupali-Beri-Mandi-Kullu-Manali-Leh rail line in the Budget proposal, for which State Government was requesting from a long time, injustice had been done not only with the hill State but also with the security and defence of the Country. He said that neighbouring China had constructed railway line from Bejing to Lahsa and was expanding rail and road networks towards India. On the other hand India was ignoring the construction of this rail line of strategic importance which was unfortunate, he said.

Chief Minister said that Nangal-Talwara rail line on which the work was started long ago had also been ignored again, although Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced to complete it by 2008. Similarly, no mention of Bhanupalli-Beri rail line had been made in the Budget despite the fact that State Government has made provision of Rs. 62 crores for this during last two years and even then Government of India had not started work on it.

Mr Dhumal said that the inclusion of Bilaspur to Leh via Kullu-Manali, Bilaspur-Rampur Bushehar, Parwanoo-Daralaghat, Jogindernagar-Mandi, Jagadhari-Poanta Sahib-Rajban, Una-Hoshiarpur and Una Jeejo in Socially Desirable Rail Connectivity Proposals which would be considered for survey and thereafter posed for the approval of Planning Commission was also a mockery with the people of the State especially when 114 such proposals have been included in this scheme in the Budget as these would take years together for starting work.

Meanwhile Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh has welcomed the proposals for the hill State in the Union Rail Budget. He said it is a common man’s budget and interests of Himachal have gotten prominence after announcement of various surveys in the budget.