Lok Sabha passes interim railway budget

February 19th, 2009 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) The Lok Sabha Thursday passed the interim railway budget for 2009-10 by a voice vote as Railways Minister Lalu Prasad outlined plans to step up railway security in view of terror threats.

Lalu Prasad, in his reply to the debate to pass the budget, said the ministry has sought AK-47 rifles from the home ministry for the Railway Protection Force to ensure the safety and security of rail commuters.

He said rail accidents have come down during his tenure from 400 in 2004 to 195 in 2008.

Lalu Prasad said the Indian Railways increased their productivity and profitability during the five year rule of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

The minister said the fares of all classes were lowered.

Nearly 20,000 vacancies have been filled, he said.

Meanwhile, protesting against the negligence towards Orissa in the budget, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MPs staged a walk out.

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