Very tentative, says Consumer Protection Council

Staff Reporter

TIRUCHI: Describing the Railway Budget 2010-11 as “very tentative”, the Consumer Protection Council Tamil Nadu lamented that the budget has ignored the dire need of the Central region for a Tiruchi-Bangalore train and a day train from Tiruchi to Tirunelveli.

“What is welcome in this budget is the promise of introduction of 101 new trains for Mumbai suburban services and circular trains particularly for Tamil Nadu. This is very tentative as Special Task force and the Planning Commission have to clear the proposals,” its secretary S. Pushpavanam said in a statement.

The plan to lay 1,000 route kilometres of new lines in one year is highly ambitious and not realistic.

With no fare hike and a staff cost of 53 per cent (working expenses) and a further promise of employing 10,976 persons to man the unmanned level crossings in 5 years, it should be difficult to find resources.

“This budget looks very tentative”, he said.

Drain on resources

The core competence and core business of the railways is to offer rail services. Establishing sports academies and building hospitals for general public and running medical colleges were all unwarranted. They were a drain on scarce resources, Mr. Pushapavanam said.

No progress

The much talked about global-positioned geo-sat communication system, fire-retardant coaches, fire-resistant seats and curtains have not made any progress and there was no mention of those things in this budget, he added.

The Tiruchi Welfare Organisations has said that the Railway Budget 2010-11 lacked vision and clarity. There is no even distribution of facilities as the major share has gone to West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, its coordinator N. Ramakrishnan said here.

State ignored

Despite Tamil Nadu providing good revenue share to the railways, the railway budget had ignored the State. The budget seems to prepared out of political compulsions, he claimed.

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