Railway budget disappointing: Nitish Kumar

March 14th, 2012 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) The railway budget for 2012-13 presented in parliament Wednesday does not adequately address safety issues and is disappointing, Bihar Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said.

“The budget does not give hope to people who are dependent on the railways and work for it. It is disappointing, the bill does not talk in detail about pending projects and safety,” Nitish Kumar, who held the portfolio 2001-04, told reporters here.

“Our expectation was that the issue of safety would be taken up properly. Accidents have been increasing each year,” he added.

Presenting the budget, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi said safety would be the prime focus of his ministry during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), along with network expansion and modernisation. The railways will also increase passenger fares by upto 30 paisa per km in 2012-13 after nine years.

“When they (government) had time to focus on rail safety, they did not work. When the tenure is about to end, they are talking of new plans,” he said.

The Indian Railways, which runs the third largest network in the world, has 7,083 stations on its 64,000 km route and operates 12,000 passenger and 7,000 freight trains daily. It ferries 23 million travellers and 2.65 million tonnes of goods daily.

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