Madhya Pradesh was yet again kept off the 'main line' in the railway budget 2013-14 presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by railways minister Pawan Bansal. There was no major announcement in it for the state.
For a state which has a seriously poor rail density, where two districts (Barwani and Dhar) have zero rail connectivity, the budget belied hopes and left a track littered with disappointment.
A motorised workshop at Misrod near Bhopal, a staff training institute in Ratlam, eight new trains which would only pass through MP, three existing trains running via the state being extended to different destinations - were some of the 'MP-centric' measures announced by the railway minister.
Indore got only one weekly train - the Indore-Chandigarh Express that will run via Dewas and Ujjain. The frequency of Indore-Amritsar train was increased from once a week to twice a week, the budget stated. Besides, surveys would be held for new railway lines along Bhopal-Ashta, Seetamau-Suvasara-Mandsaur and Balaghat-Bharveli-Ulewa and Satna-Rewa railway line would be made double-track from single.
Peethampur Audyogik Sangthan president Gautam Kothari said there was nothing in the budget one could draw solace from. “It is unfortunate for MP that despite it being situated in the middle of the country, its rail density is far behind the national average. Perhaps it was compulsion on the railways part that they had to lay various inter-state lines through the state given its geographical position. Otherwise the rail density in the state would have been worse."
The state, having a population of 7.25 million, has a rail density of 16.07, as compared to Uttar Pradesh (36.12), Rajasthan (17), Jharkhand (24.3) and Bihar (35.9).
In the new budget, the state government was expecting locomotive factories at Sanchi and Budhni, electrification of Itarsi-Allahabad and Indore-Mhow tracks, a new railway station at Indore, completion of the Bhind-Itawa railway line, railway lines in Dhar and Barwani, an Indore-Ajmer train and Duranto Express between Indore and Delhi, Indore and Howrah.