Stating that the projects executed by the Railways over the past eight months were not aimed at elections, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Sunday that West Bengal had been given “double the number of trains as compared to anywhere else in the country” and would receive even more than those listed in the budget.

Polls to 82 civic bodies across the State, including the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, are due around middle of this year while the critical Assembly elections are to be held in 2011.

Speaking at a function to lay the foundation stone for a new coach factory at Kanchrapara in West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, Ms. Banerjee said: “The projects that have been completed so far have not been done with any elections in mind.”

“Right now, there are no elections, but for the last eight months the Railways have tirelessly worked to execute projects that were promised in the budget,” she said.

Ms. Banerjee announced a slew of projects for the region, including the setting up of a Railway hospital at Kanchrapara, modelled on the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. While the Railways had already earmarked the land for the project, the Health Ministry was working on developing adequate infrastructure for the project, she said.

Addressing the crowd, she said: “You know that West Bengal has been allocated many trains, double the number of trains as compared to anywhere else in the country….This area will receive even more trains, more than the ones already proposed in the budget.”

Singur land

Ms. Banerjee also repeated her offer to build a coach factory at the site of the Tata Nano factory in Singur. “If the State government is really keen, let them give the land to us. We will build a coach factory there,” she said.

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