Within two weeks of the Trinamool giving up the railway ministry, the latter has sought details of the expenditure on the inaugural functions of railway projects in West Bengal since April 2010.
That was the time when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and her two party colleagues were ministers.
Last week the Railway Board sent letters to the South-Eastern Railways (SER) and Eastern Railways (ER), both headquartered in Kolkata, directing top commercial section officials to submit a report detailing the expenditure on foundation stone-laying programmes and flagging off of trains.
The Railway Board wants to know how much was spent on setting up the stages, loudspeakers, food packets, singers, etc.
“We have started the process of obtaining detailed reports on expenditure made during foundation stone-laying and flagging off functions of different projects since April 2010 in West Bengal. We have directed our divisions in Kharagpore and Adra in this regard,” SP Ghosh, deputy chief commercial manager (passengers marketing), SER, told HT.
Between May 2009, when the party got charge of the ministry, and September 2012, the Trinamool ministers started a large number of projects such as computerised ticket reservation counters, conversions of gauge-lines, setting up coach factories, nursing colleges, railway stadiums, museums and theatre halls in different parts of the state.
Between them, the three railway ministers started more than 130 railway projects, coming under both the SER and ER.
The trend peaked before the assembly polls in 2011. Banerjee herself inaugurated or flagged off 104 projects in the state from April to September in 2010.
Sixteen rail projects, worth about Rs. 40,000 crore, were announced for West Bengal during the period.