Kolkata: West Bengal's wagon makers Tuesday welcomed the rail budget for 2013-14, hailing proposals to hike spending and focus on port and mine connectivity, which they hoped would enhance off-take of wagons.
"The annual plan for 2013-14 at Rs.63,400 crore, up by about 20 percent on the current year spending gives rise to some hope for enhanced off-take of rolling stock," said Texmaco Rail & Engineering Ltd executive vice chairman Ramesh Maheshwari..
"The plan to introduce long haul train carrying 10,000 tonnes freight load is a welcome step," he added.
Pawan Kumar Ruia, chairman of the Ruia group that has wagon manufacturer Jessop in its fold, said apparently the budget might not look so-called growth oriented, but there were definite proposals for the much-needed improvement of the services.
"As the biggest infrastructure outfit of the country the railway has rightly focused on port connectivity and the honourable minister (Pawan Kumar Bansal) has committed an investment of Rs. 9,000 crore for the purpose," Ruia said.
Kolkata-based Titagarh Wagons Limited (TWL) also hailed the rail budget for focusing on railway connectivity of port and mines, saying this was a "very big positive" for wagon industry.
"This would ensure that a lot of projects that have been suffering from the last mile connectivity or lack of it would really start investing in the last mile connectivity," TWL managing director Umesh Choudhary said.
Industry body Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomed the budget for allotting 18 new suburban trains and longer rakes for the metro to benefit the common man in the state.
"However, there is no mention in the budget regarding the railway projects announced previously for West Bengal except that the East-West Metro project should go forward as also the extension from Dum Dum to Noapara," it said in a statement.