Jayalalithaa, Raman Singh flay Centre over interim rail budget

‘There is nothing in the Railway Budget for the people of Tamil Nadu to cheer about,’ she said in a statement released on Wednesday evening.

Jayalalithaa said she was happy that it was only an interim budget and the main budget to be presented in June by a new government would ‘undoubtedly reflect the aspirations of the Tamils.’

Getting into the details, Jayalalithaa said there was hardly any addition to carrying capacity, both in terms of passengers and freight in the southern region of the country and Tamil Nadu in particular.

‘[A] very few new train connections have been announced for Tamil Nadu,’ she said, before adding, ‘Most of the new benefits are confined to the northern parts of the country and this highlights the UPA’s step-motherly treatment of the south and Tamil Nadu in particular.”

She hit out at the Centre for not providing additional funds for the completion of long pending gauge conversion projects and new line projects in Tamil Nadu.

‘Our hopes have been belied... even ongoing projects will be delayed substantially,’ Jayalalithaa said.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh termed the rail budget ‘highly disappointing’ while opposition leaders called it ‘balanced and growth-oriented’.

Talking to reporters in the state assembly, Raman Singh, heading the BJP government in the state, said it was a highly disappointing rail budget in which Chhattisgarh has been neglected.

‘The people of Chhattisgarh had a lot of expectations from the budget because the state comes under a high-revenue generation region for the railways but the expectations were let down,’ he said.

When his attention was drawn to the new rail corridors provisioned for the state, he said: ‘These were actually state government projects, not of the railways.’
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