Railway budget disappoints Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, July 3 (IANS) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik termed the union railway budget presented by Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha Friday as “disappointing”.
“I am disappointed to find that funds for some railway projects have been reduced considerably from last year for Orissa. In 2008-2009 it was Rs.949.34 crore. This year it is Rs.715.22 crore,” Patnaik told reporters here.

Blaming the central government for constantly neglecting the state, Patnaik said: “In 2009-2010, we proposed the sanction of a survey for the construction of a north-south and east-west railway corridor to counter Naxalism. This has not been done.”

“Similarly, we demanded a coach factory in Orissa and instead a new coach factory is now being set up in Kolkata which already has a great many rail facilities. We also requested for introduction of 14 new trains against which only six trains has been given to us,” the chief minister said.

“As against our proposal for increase in frequency of five trains, only one has been allotted to our state. We demanded three new coaching depots, the introduction of new EMU and DMU trains which has not been agreed to,” he said.

“I find this railway budget is very disappointing for our state. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government at the centre has been constantly neglecting Orissa in many areas,” Patnaik said.

Secretary general of ruling Biju Janata Dal Damodar Rout told IANS: “Patnaik had in January this year demanded a special Rs.1520 crore package for the development of railway infrastructure to provide connectivity in the state’s mineral rich areas and under developed areas.”

“He had also written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The centre has neglected us again the way it has been doing in the past,” Rout said.

National vice president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Jual Oram said: “Railway has been generating huge income from our state but in return it is giving nothing.”

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