Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Fare cuts announced in the Railway budget are only marginal, despite the Railway Minister’s claim that it has been profit all the way for the organisation, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Jayalalithaa said on Tuesday.

Referring to the decrease in the fares for all the classes, she described as “unfortunate” the 5 per cent conditional reduction of the fare for the second class, which was used by the common man as against 7 per cent cut in the fares for I class air-conditioned coaches. “At least this could have been done the other way round with the common man getting a 7 per cent reduction in the fares,” she said.

L. Ganesan, State president of the Bharatiya Janata Party, said a close look at the budget would reveal that the increase in the number of berths in each compartment would only add to the “congestion” in the coaches and create “greater discomfort” to passengers.

Commending the Budget, S. Ramadoss, founder of the Pattali Makkal Katchi, [to which the Minister of State for Railways R.Velu belongs] said as happened in the last few years, this year’s budget too had shown that his party was able to get more projects sanctioned for the State.

M. Krishnasswamy, president of the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, welcomed the announcement of new trains such as the one for Varanasi-Rameswaram.