Though the rail budget this year had no sops to offer for the state, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar praised it as being user-friendly and progressive.
The fact that this small state close to the national capital requires a better network of trains with more frequency had been raised by several parties during the recently concluded state elections, following which the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power.
“Besides no fare hikes, several facilities have also been introduced for passengers. The rail budget is more reformative and sensible than populist and is aimed at bringing major changes for making travelling in the Indian railways more comfortable for passengers,” said Khattar.
While lauding the railway minister’s announcement for the formation of joint ventures with the state which will enable states like Haryana to construct new railway lines by raising funds, he said that Haryana had already sent a proposal last month for signing a MoU with the railway ministry in this regard.
The chief minister also said that the decision for eliminating 3,438 level unmanned crossings in the country would be beneficial in the state as it would avert accidents on unmanned crossings.
The CM added that the state government had earlier submitted an action plan to the railways for eliminating 119 unmanned level crossings in the state to help in averting accidents on unmanned crossings.
Regional parties like the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), however, seemed disappointed by the lack of any new announcements for the state.
Indian National Lok Dal leaders said that better connectivity is especially required for NCR cities like Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat and Jhajjar.
“We can only hope that the announced plans for the rail coach factory and connectivity to Mewat are worked upon,” said Indian National Lok Dal leader Gopichand Gehlot.
Other parties dismissed the budget saying it was an eyewash which did not promise anything new for the citizens.
“The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has presented a vague idea in the railway budget and is trying to run away from any specifics, as always. They don’t want to promise as they know they will be unable to deliver”, said Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Anupam Singh.