The Opposition on Wednesday slammed the Railway Budget saying it will promote regional imbalance and criticised its use to promote political ends.
Initiating the general discussion on the Railway Budget in the Rajya Sabha, Kalraj Mishra (BJP) said Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have been neglected and most of the projects have gone to West Bengal.
"UP and Bihar have been neglected. Only West Bengal has been favoured in the budget," he said taking a dig at Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee.
He also referred to late running of trains, lack of safety for passengers and addition of a mere 11,000 km of tracks since independence.
Mishra lamented that the pace of electrification was very slow and pointed out that China has taken rapid strides in Railway development in a short period.
P Madhu (CPI-M) said, "It is a budget for some preferred states, not for India. It is putting politics before governance. It is a discriminatory budget."
He said sanctioning railway projects for political gains was harmful. "This defeats the very purpose of development."
When Madhu criticised the public-private-partnership model suggested in the budget and alleged that 1,12,000 acre of Railway land would be handed over to private players for doing permanent construction, Banerjee retorted, "This is wrong".
Saifuddin Soz (Cong) said all want safety, cleanliness of trains and stations and timely running of trains and asked why a rail coach factory could not be set up in Srinagar.
"Unless Udhampur is connected with Qajigund and Baramulla, Kashmir cannot be said to be on India's railway map," he said.