Millennium Post

Rly Min seeks Mamata’s help for Bengal

Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said the state and the Centre will have to work together to for development of West Bengal and assured that his ministry will help fuel the state's growth story.

"I spoke to the Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) who is now in Dhaka, this morning. I hope to  meet her soon once she comes back. The Centre and the state will have to work together," Prabhu said.

While inaugurating a series of railway projects here, he said, "It is happy to note that West Bengal is one of the larger economies of the country and also a big contributor to the national GDP. We will make sure that West Bengal grows at a much faster rate and the Railways play an active part in the process." 

Reposing faith on the potential of the state, Prabhu said his aim would be to make West Bengal a growth engine of the country.

Describing Kolkata as a thriving city, Prabhu said it should be the "natural commercial capital of the country and get back the position which it deserves." 

"West Bengal has got more money in the last budget than what it got during the UPA regime. It is a priority for the Railways in helping the growth to happen here," he said. He also praised Banerjee for being present at the signing of the historic Land Boundary Agreement at Dhaka in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. On the issue of non-availability of land for railway projects in the state, he said, it was becoming an important issue and needed to be addressed jointly by the Centre and the state. Sounding an alarm on encroachments on Railway land, he said "The problem of encroachment is serious. We need a joint action by the Railways and the state." Prabhu said a new policy would be announced where partners would be invited for development of stations, which have a huge potential in generating revenue. 

‘Land required for Railway infrastructure projects’
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said land is required for any infrastructure project related to the railways. "Whether for a sea port, airport or for the Railways, land is required. We need land for development of Railway infrastructure and for capacity expansion. But, getting land is becoming an important issue, which needs to be resolved by the Centre and the states jointly," he said at a news conference here.

In the dossier distributed by both the Eastern Railway and the South Eastern Railway to the media at an event here, it said many projects were not being able to be commissioned due to non-availability of land and required the help of the state government.

It also mentioned of encroachments on railway land, which was also thwarting development.

Prabhu said the problem of encroachment was serious. "We need a joint action both by the Railways and the state for getting the land cleared," he said.

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