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Budget impact: Bengal sees 14% dip in rail outlay

Budget impact: Bengal sees 14% dip in rail outlay
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday accused the BJP of "step-motherly attitude" for depriving Bengal in the Rail Budget and slashing the fund allocation by a staggering 14% compared to last year.
Other states to bear the brunt are Delhi and Kerala in whose case the allocation of funds has been reduced by 40% and 23% respectively.
Interestingly, the fund allocation in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh has gone up by 20%, 30%, 19% and 8% respectively compared to last year.
The Chief Minister said, "under no circumstances, we are going to accept this Budget proposal." It may be mentioned that senior Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Banerjee in Delhi said on Tuesday that the party will raise its voice inside Parliament to protest against the Budget proposals.
In the East-West Metro project, the allocation of funds has been reduced by Rs 800 crore compared to the previous year. The first phase of East-West Metro, from Sector V in Salt Lake to Phoolbagan, is supposed to be completed in 2018. A trial run is supposed to have been conducted soon. State-of-the-art coaches are supposed to be used for the project.
But with the slashing of fund allocation, the future of the project has become bleak. Infuriated over the allocation, Mamata Banerjee said: "We have always cooperated with the Centre in the East-West Metro and they have drastically cut down the Budget allocation. We are not going to accept this and we will raise our voice."
Though fund allocation in other Metro projects like Joka-BBD Bag, New Garia-Airport, Noapara-Barasat and Baranagar-Dakshineshwar have been increased than the earlier year, but the amount is so small that with this money it will be extremely difficult to complete the projects on time and any delay will cause price escalation.
For example, only Rs 42 crore has been allocated for Baranagar-Dakshineshwar Metro project. Similarly, Rs 169 crore has been allocated for Joka-BBD Bag and Rs 218 crore for the Noapara-Barasat project. A sum of Rs 344 crore has been allocated for New Garia-Airport Metro project. However, for the Central Park Metro project, Rs 1 lakh crore has been allocated.
No new trains have been allotted for Eastern and South-Eastern railway. Funds have not been allocated for the upkeep of the tracks or the double line system.
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