Rail Budget 2013: Nitish dubs Rail budget 'disappointing'

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 11:26 hrs

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today described the rail budget as "disappointing" and alleged that while Congress ruled states were given sops other states including Bihar have been neglected.

"The Rail budget for 2013-14 is disappointing," Kumar, who served as Railway minister in NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, told reporters here.

He accused the UPA II government of "lacking courage" and resorting to "cleverness" by increasing fare in the month of January itself and not announcing any hike in the budget presented in Parliament today.

"On the one hand the government is claiming it did not raise fare but on the other hand other charges of tatkal and cancellation etc have been increased which will adversely hit the passengers," he said.

"No new train has been given to Bihar despite the fact that it has maximum number of train travellers in the country. Besides, fund for past projects like Rail bridge over Ganga at Patna and Munger has also not been allocated," he said.

In a veiled attack on his rival Lalu Prasad, Kumar said "the condition of Railway started deteriorating since days of UPA I (when Prasad was Railway minister) and the speed has increased with passing of times."

Taking a potshot at the Rail minister for announcing search of new technology to stop collision of trains, Kumar sought to know why anti-collision devise developed by Konkan Railway which he had introducted during his time in NF railway and which yielded good results was stopped.

Kumar also criticised announcement of new projects without making proper arrangements of fund and taking other clearances. "The NDA government had stopped this practise (annoncing projects without required clearances) but it been resumed again now which is unfortunate," he added.

Kumar also queried about discontinuation of Corporate Safety plan he had prepared for ten years (2003-13) and which yielded good results in preventing train accidents.

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