KARNATAKA

Mixed response to rail budget in Udupi

Staff Correspondent



‘Coastal Karnataka has got a big zero from the Ministry’

Decision to not increase passenger fares welcomed



Udupi: There was mixed response in Udupi to the Railway Budget presented on Wednesday.

President of the Udupi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Gujjady Prabhakar Nayak told The Hindu that coastal Karnataka had got a “big zero” from the Railway Ministry.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had ignored public demand for new trains from Karwar to Bangalore, Mangalore to Bangalore and from Mangalore to Mumbai. When work on Ankola-Hubli and Talaguppa-Honnavar railway lines had not been started, what was the point in announcing surveys for new railway lines? he said.

Ms. Banerjee should be complimented for her proposal to man 13,000 unmanned level-crossings in the country, he said. Introduction of the Commonwealth Exhibition Train and Matribhumi special trains for women were welcome, Mr. Nayak said.

President of the Udupi district unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) Deviprasad Shetty said that there was nothing to cheer about in the budget for people in coastal Karnataka. The survey for the Padubidri-Belthangady-Dharmashthala railway line would only lead to environmental destruction and farmers would lose their land, he said.

‘Good budget’

However, president of the Udupi District Congress Committee M.A. Gafoor said it was a very good budget for Karnataka.

Besides announcing survey for new railway lines in the State, Ms. Banerjee had announced new trains from Mangalore to Kerala, which was a welcome move, Mr. Gafoor said.

The decision to allow people to take Railway Board examinations in regional languages and to raise 12 companies of women Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel to be named Mahila Vahini was welcome, he added.

‘Disappointing’

President of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Udaykumar Shetty said that it was a disappointing budget for coastal Karnataka as no new trains to Mumbai and Bangalore were announced.

The decision to not increase passenger fares, to allow free journey for cancer patients in sleeper and AC III-tier and 75 per cent concession in ticket fare for a person accompanying the patient, and to set up a design, development and testing centre for railway wheels at Bangalore was welcome, Mr. Shetty added.

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