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Railways Ministry has no funds left for its ongoing projects in Bihar. However, it has promised healthy flow of funds to these projects from next fiscal. This, according to the Minister of States for Railway KH Muniyappa, will help faster completion of some of the ministry's much delayed projects.
"There have been some funding constraints lately," Muniyappa told Business Standard few days ago, "however, it will soon be over. Congress has got this ministry after a gap of 16 years. It is going to change the whole scenario." He added, "We will utilise every penny, which we are going to get in the 12th plan. It will help us serve better. For our projects, we are going to spend more than Rs. 40,000 crores in the next five year. We will provide enough money for railway projects in Bihar from the next financial year. It will improve the speed of work, which will finally result in the faster completion of projects." According to the railway officials, the ministry will receive almost Rs 2 lakh crores in the 12th plan.
The minister also refuted the charge of discrimination against Bihar by the Ministry.
He said, "This is not true. Most of the Railway Ministers came from the state. The state has given five railway ministers to the nation, which includes Lalu Prasad Yadav and Nitish Kumar. The ministry has done many things for the state in the last 20-25 years. There has not been any neglect."
He added, "Whatever the project, started by right beginning till today, the government is going to complete. We are getting sufficient funds from the next financial year. We will provide enough money for all the projects. We will complete every project, wherever it may be."
Muniyappa stated that the government will complete all the projects announced by the then railway minister, Lalu Yadav.
The RJD leader had announced many projects for his home state during his tenure as Rail Minister. However, most of these projects are now in limbo, due to the lack of funds. It includes ambitious and long pending Locomotive factories in Madhepura and Marhaura (Saran). Other important projects, such as Sonepur-Digha and Munger rail cum road bridges, have also run into series of deadline failures due to insufficient funding.
The rail bridge projects were announced by the NDA government in 2002, when Nitish Kumar was the Rail Minister.