The people of Jharkhand were mostly dejected on Thursday as they found nothing significant for the state in the Railway Budget.
Except a dedicated east-west freight corridor from Kharagpur to Mumbai that would run through east and west Singhbhum via Tatanagar Jn of the south eastern railway and beautification of the Parasnath railway station in Dhanbad that handles thousands of Jain pilgrims every year, there was nothing specific for the state.
“It’s a futuristic budget, nothing for the present. Suresh Prabhu’s speech was interesting to listen to,” former chief minister and JMM working president Hemant Soren said. There was nothing for the people of Jharkhand and passengers would have to wait till 2020 for bio-toilets, he said.
On fares, Hemant asked how anyone could say Prabhu left them untouched, pointing out the falling diesel prices globally.
“There is no new train and expectations on increasing the frequency of south-bound trains also hit a wall,” he said.
Chief minister Raghubar Das welcomed the railway budget. “It’s a visionary and progressive budget. It will help fulfil Modi-ji’s Make in India dream and people’s expectations in the near future,” he said and thanked Prabhu for the introduction of Deen Dayalu general coaches in trains.
Jharkhand passengers’ association chief Prem Kataruka was dejected, saying Prabhu neglected the state. He expected a railway factory for the state that would have created new jobs.
Chotanagpur passengers’ association vice-president Ashok Nagpal said the railway budget had enlivened hopes for the future. He said though there was nothing for Jharkhand, the decision of not increasing fares and special security measures for women were welcome.
Somen Banarjee, a regular traveler to southern India said not providing a direct train to Alleppey from Dhanbad was shocking.
There is usually high waiting list in Alleppey from Dhanbad as people travel to Vellore for treatment by train and often face hardships in getting tickets.
Dhanbad MLA Raj Sinha was happy to learn there was no hike in passenger fares but was annoyed as the railway minister failed to fulfil the wishes of people in his constituency. Retired teacher AN Singh praised the railway minister as he tried to cater to the needs of senior citizens and women by ensuring they got lower berths.