Hailing the Railway Budget,Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today described it as "growth oriented" and "passenger friendly", saying its proposals will propel all round development and prosperity in the country.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi's brainchild to introduce bullet trains in the country would put India on the global map of world class railways and the days were not far when India would be reckoned internationally as a front runner nation amongst the high speed railways, Badal said in a statement here.
The Chief Minister also hailed the announcement to start five new trains including Saharasa-Amritsar Jansadharan Express, Nagpur-Amritsar (Weekly), Ferozepur-Chandigarh Express (6 days a week), New Delhi Bhatinda Shatabdi Express (Bi-weekly) and three others passing through Punjab namely Indore-Jammu Tawi Express(Weekly), Kamakhya-Katra Express(Weekly)via Darbhanga and Kanpur-Jammu Tawi Express (Bi-weekly), whereas Ludhiana-Hissar Passenger has been extended to Sadulpur.
Badal said that these trains would certainly boost trade and commercial activity in the state.
He also complimented the Centre's unique initiative for the modernisation of railway infrastructure and taking path breaking decisions like the recruitment of 4,000 women constables to ensure safety and security of women passenger and providing wi-fi at select stations and in trains.
The Chief Minister appreciated the decision of introducing a special pilgrim train covering the entire Sikh religious circuit joining all the five Takhats across the country.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Deputy chief minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the budget as "dream budget" for Punjab as it has given state's overdue share.
However, Congress slammed the budget saying Punjab state was ignored.
Punjab badly needed better train connectivity but Akali Dal-BJP government had never taken up this issue convincingly with the Centre, alleging that better rail connectivity would have badly hit Badal family's transport business, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) Chief Pratap Singh Bajwa said in a statement here.
He rued that there was no indication in the budget about the fate of Beas-Qadian rail link that was announced by the previous UPA government.
The demand for extending freight corridor from Ludhiana to Attari was also not fulfilled in the budget despite SAD-BJP led state government has been demanding from the Centre, he said.