Rail politics between the Congress and the TMC heightened on Thursday, with the minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary releasing a status paper alleging the projects announced for West Bengal by former railways minister Mamata Banerjee were motivated by “political considerations”.
Eighteen projects costing more than Rs. 12,000 crore have not progressed because of inadequate funding or bad planning, Chaudhary said.
Projects have not made tangible progress because of lack of cooperation from the West Bengal government – including delays in providing land and according the necessary clearances, he added.
The status paper points out that the Rs. 3,951.98 crore project for building the NSCB Airport to New Garia metro line had made only 5% progress due to delay from various departments of the state government.
The document also blames the TMC railways ministers for making “infructious expenditure”. For example, Rs. 54 crore was incurred towards transporting only eight coaches to the diesel multiple unit at Haldia for furnishing, it says.
“The Integral Coach Factory” at Chennai has the capacity to furnish 20 rakes. It was meaningless to transport only eight semi-finished rakes for more than 800 km,” the paper says.
The Rs. 184.70 crore project for the setting up of a mid-life rehabilitation workshop at Adra and the Rs. 277.77 crore electric loco assembly and ancillary unit at Dankuni — announced in 2010 and 2009 respectively — had also made zero progress, the document says.
“TMC leaders spread the propaganda that rail projects were showered by Banerjee on West Bengal and that huge employment opportunities were being created. The facts are quite to the contrary, as the rail-based industries in the state are a non-starter”, Chaudhary said.