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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Harshest rail budget in recent memory: Capt

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times   Amritsar, July 08, 2014
First Published: 22:06 IST(8/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:28 IST(8/7/2014)

Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha and Amritsar MP, Captain Amarinder Singh, has said that there is nothing to cheer about the railway budget presented by the railway minister in the parliament on Tuesday. In statement issued here, Amarinder said, "The budget needs to be viewed in the backdrop of the unprecedented fare and tariff hike imposed a few weeks ago ahead of the actual budget by the government which makes it the harshest rail budget in the recent memory".

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The budget, he said, has only tried to cover up the recurring losses without any attempt to pass on any benefit to the passengers.

Amarinder pointed out that the NDA government had actually circumvented the budgetary process by imposing 15% and 6% hike on passenger fare and freight respectively, much ahead of the actual budget.
"So what was left out, just a statement about the activities planned and proposed which nobody knows (will be taken up) how seriously?" he asked.

The former Punjab chief minister said that the railway minister has not come out with any substantial proposal for preventing the railway accidents which are taking place at an alarming frequency now.

"He should have paid more attention to the passenger safety which appears to be low on his priority", Capt remarked, while referring to frequent railway accidents costing so many precious lives.

The Congress leader maintained that introduction of new trains was nothing new as it was just the annual routine as railways always introduces new trains.

"Introducing the idea of food courts or Wifi connectivity are just high in rhetoric symbolism and low on actual content as these will, even if actually started, hardly make any difference to the passengers", he remarked while adding that there was nothing to feel excited about the concept of bullet trains even as the railway minister had not set any specific deadline for the same.

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