Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Wednesday formally announced the takeover of two sick units of Bharat Wagon at Muzaffarpur and Mokama and also announced expansion in their capacities soon.
Addressing a function organized to mark the takeover, the Railway Minister said the present capacity at 550 wagons would be doubled and the worker strength enhanced in the very near future. "The Bharat Wagon units that were up for sale during the NDA regime at the Centre would henceforth become thriving units under the supervision of the Indian railways," he said.
Lalu also announced that a training school for prospective mechanics would soon be set up. "It would generate huge employment opportunities in north Bihar," he said after receiving a token mega-size key to the Bharat Wagon unit at Muzaffarpur from Minister of State for Industries Raghunath Jha.
Announcing the proposed railway projects worth Rs 65,000 crore in the state, the Railway Minister said "we (Indian Railways) mean business and believe in turning around the sick and unviable units. Both the Bharat Wagon units would soon become viable, he said.
He said "The Railways is working overtime to convert all rail tracks into broad gauge ones. The Indian Railways is all set to construct a third line in the country to end congestion and facilitate faster traffic. It is already constructing rail bridges on major rivers in north Bihar and has brought the remotest locations in the state within the railway network.
He said the next rail budget would be tabled in April-May next year and that the railways would post huge profits once again this year.
Lashing out at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the Railway Minister dubbed him a 'frustrated angry man'. "I am not a fused bulb as the CM had recently remarked, transgressing the protocol. I am a high-tension transformer with the huge capacity of 'short-circuiting' persons like Nitish Kumar," he said.
Lalu charged Nitish with playing into the hands of hardcore Hindu fanatic outfits like Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS. He also criticized the state government for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state.
He expressed concern over the rise in Maoist activities and their frequent incursions into North Bihar from Nepal and parts of Andhara Pardesh, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh.
Earlier, Jha thanked the railway minister for taking over Bharat Wagon units and said this would prove a landmark decision for both the units. Zonal Manager of East Central Railway (Hajipur), Girish Bhatnagar and Chief PRO AK Chandra and others also spoke on the occasion.