Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendrabhai Modi described the Railway Budget for 2010-11 as directionless and impractical, sure to add to inflation and create further obstacles in the economic growth of the country necessary in this age of globalization.
Reacting to the budget presented in the Parliament today, he suggested the need for Railway Infrastructure Reforms and Railway Freight & Fare Committee.
Shri Narendra Modi regretted that the railway budget continued with the UPA Government's policies of gross injustice to Gujarat, which has significant contributions to the nation's growth. There is no mention about the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train or about new super fast trains to and fro Gujarat in the budget. Except for a token 'Bharat Teerth' train for Somnath, there in no word about linking other famous pilgrimage centres of the state.
The budget talks about greater Public-Private Participation (PPP) module as Government of Gujarat has also shown interest in such a module, but no such provision has been made for the proposed port-linked new railway lines to Dahej, Dholera and Hazira.
While 40 per cent of the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Freight Corridor would pass through Gujarat, not a single auto hub out of ten is proposed for Gujarat. There is no word about setting up any of the wagon or coach manufacturing units, railway academy, multi-training centres and wagon repairing workshop for the state.
Expressing his grave concern for steady decline of Railways share in the goods traffic from 24 per cent in 2000-01 to 20.89 per cent, he said, it reflects the Railway's losing credibility and forcing the traffic to shift to costlier road traffic.
Unfortunately, the budget is a sad commentary on catering to vote bank through such proposals as waiving fees for recruitment tests for candidates belonging to minorities. All tall talks about 375 model and world-class railway stations remain glued to papers.