Railway budget evokes mixed response in Punjab, Haryana

Chandigarh, Feb 24 (Calcutta Tube) The 2010-11 railway budget, presented by Union Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee in the Lok Sabha Wednesday, evoked a mixed response in Punjab and Haryana.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal criticised the budget and described it as discriminatory, and ‘injustice meted out’ to the state by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

‘In the budget, the railways minister has shown complete insensitivity towards the economic needs of this border state. The budget has dashed the hopes of both industry and agriculture sectors, and it has also not made any specific provision for new trains in Punjab,’ Badal said.

Badal said the budget has ignored the numerous requests made by the state government at different forums for the extension of the already sanctioned Kolkata-Ludhiana Eastern dedicated rail freight corridor to Amritsar.

‘They have also not taken care of our pending demand to sanction western freight dedicated rail corridor, Mumbai-Delhi-Amritsar, to give fillip to the industrial sector in general and to the agriculture sector in particular,’ Badal said.

The Haryana government, however, has welcomed the budget and thanked the government for accepting its demands.

‘We appreciate the decision of not hiking the rail fare and to strengthen the security of women passengers travelling in trains,’ said Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

Hooda also appreciated that the Ambala Cantt railway station has been identified as a world class station in the budget.

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