The first rail budget of the Modi government was marked by its focus on the Northern Indian states and Prime Minister's home state Gujarat.
The assembly poll-bound Maharashtra, that also elected 42 out of its 48 MPs for the NDA, got a slew of projects.
Apart from the
highest number of trains, the first high-speed train was announced between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The railway will also launch its pilot project for automatic closure of doors in the Mumbai suburban trains.
Out of the total 58 new trains announced, Maharashtra got as many as 12, followed by northeast that received six, and Gujarat, five.
In allocating higher budget for northeast, the railway minister DV Sadanand Gowda, said the government was committed to connecting the far flung region to the mainland. For the year 2014-15 the government earmarked Rs.
5116 crore for the north east, a jump of 54% over the previous year.
He also announced commissioning of new lines in the Dudhnoi-Mendipathan; Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar; Harmuti-Murkongselek and Balipara-Bhalukpong sectors.Read: 58 new trains, FDI, world-class amenities in Gowda's rail budget
North Indian states like UP, Rajasthan and Bihar where the BJP had done exceedingly well saw many projects coming their way.
Neglected were the eastern states, especially West Bengal (with two new trains) so much so that that soon after the budget presentation was over, BJP's Babul Supriyo rushed to Prime Minister Modi to request him for some sops for Bengal.
The other neglected state was Kerala that did not get a single train out of 27 express trains announced.
Minister for power Arayadan Mohammed said Kerala had never been neglected like this in its history.
Leader of the Opposition in the assembly V S Achuthanandan (CPI-M) said BJP government was no different from the previous UPA regime.
"It seems that in the Railway map of BJP government, there is no state called Kerala", he said.
© Copyright © 2013 HT Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.