Expressing disappointment over the Railway Budget 2013-14, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav on Monday said the government has proposed nothing to improve the deteriorating condition of the Indian Railways.
Yadav, who was the country's Railway Minister from 2004 to 2009 during the UPA-I regime, said the government should take steps to bring in business to the railways instead of getting more profits by hiking fares.
"The railway has lost the glory it achieved during my tenure. I had tried to shift inter-state transportation of goods from road to railways. But, there is no any such initiative in the present budget," Yadav said.
"There were two routes proposed to bring more business to the railway- one from Ludhiana to Kolkata and another from Delhi to Mumbai and then Chennai. Japan had given an approval to invest into Western Corridor Project (Delhi-Mumbai-Chennai). But the Railway Minister has not even mentioned about that project," he added.
When asked about whether the government has prepared the budget from election point of view, Yadav said: "If they have done so, there would have something to say, but there is nothing even to mention in the budget."
Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal- United (JD-U) leader Nitish Kumar, who was the Railway Minister during the NDA Government, said the government has come out with a weird Railway Budget.
"They increased the fares in January, and now they are saying that the they are not raising prices, but increasing 'charges'. It is a non-ambitious budget," said Kumar.
Bansal, who presented his maiden Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha this morning, however, said there would be no hike in passenger fares, as a hike had already been introduced in January this year, but added that certain charges like supplementary fee, superfast fee, reservation fee, cancellation fee and Tatkal charges will see a marginal hike.
The Railway Minister also underlined the measures to make the Indian Railways a better and safer mode of transport and said that the time had come to make the organisation financially sustainable.
Bansal further said the rail network needs to be expanded at a faster rate, and added that the growth of railways is linked to the nation's growth.
This was the first Rail Budget presented by a Congress minister after 17 years. (ANI)