Where is Garib Rath for the poor in Orissa ? Naveen Patnaik | business | Hindustan Times
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Where is Garib Rath for the poor in Orissa ? Naveen Patnaik

The rail budget would not meet the aspirations of Orissa, which, he said, had been 'historically' neglected in railway expansion.

business Updated: Feb 27, 2008 04:28 IST

Expressing his government's disappointment with the Railway budget, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday sought to know from Railway Minister Lalu Prasad about the fate of the 'Garib Rath' announced by him for the poor of the state.

"Where is the Garib Rath between Bhubaneswar and Ranchi?" Patnaik asked adding though Prasad had made provision for 10 new Garib Rath trains there was none for Orissa.

The rail budget would not meet the aspirations of Orissa, which, he said, had been 'historically' neglected in railway expansion.

While the state had asked for Rs 1330 crore, the Railway budget had allocated only rs 972 crore. "This is dissappointing," he said.

There was no rail expansion project either in naxal affected districts nor in the backward Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput region. Many distrcits like Malkangiri, Sonepur, Boudh, Deogarh and Kendrapara did not have railway facilities.

"We have been demanding expansion of railway network in tribal areas which are prone to naxal activities. But the rail budget does not have any provision," he said.