Dhumal accuses Mamataa of overlooking HP in rail budget

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 01, 2011 22:05 IST

Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Tuesday alleged that railway minister Mamata Banerjee was "busy somewhere else forgetting" about the genuine needs of the his state.

"Railway Minister has forgotten about new projects for the state. She is busy somewhere else. Whenever she would be free, we will talk to her," Dhumal told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia to finalise the annual plan for next fiscal.

"Unfortunately, whoever takes charge as the Railway Minister, the Ministry works for that state only. This is a threat to national unity, integrity and security," the senior BJP leader said.

About the strategic rail link from Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir, he said "taking railways to Leh is very important in view of national security." "We have raised this issue with the Prime Minister, the Railway Minister and other central officials several times. We are still awaiting their response," he said.

"As far as Railways is concerned, injustice has been done to our state as only 33 kms of rail link has been provided to the state in the last 63 years after independence," Dhumal said.

He said he had tried to convince the Planning Commission that "ours was not a parochial demand but it is a matter of major strategic importance to lay the rail link from Bilaspur to Leh".

Dhumal has asked the Planning Commission for declaring Bilaspur-Leh Railway line as project of National importance during the meeting.

The chief minister was also very disappointed with the budget for 2011-12.

He said, "The General Budget has ignored tourism which is very important for the hilly states like Himachal Pradesh." "The proposal to impose service tax on hotel rooms and restaurants would affect the business. This budget is anti-tourism budget," he added.


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