Rail budget lacks vision, says Bihar CM

Patna, Feb 25 (IANS) Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said that people were disappointed by the Railway Budget – 2016-17 as it lacked vision.

This budget has no concrete proposals to take it forward and lacks focus on safety and there is nothing new in it, he added.

“People across the country are disappointed by the rail budget presented by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu,” Nitish Kumar, himself a former railway minister, told the media here.

He said the rail budget has no vision for development and clearly lacked in focus on safety aspect.

“Regional balance has been ignored in the Railway Budget. There is no specific plan for railways’ development in backward regions of the country.”

Nitish Kumar said the common people will not benefit from high-speed trains and people have been cheated in the name of providing more facilities. “It is only a part of cosmetic exercise, nothing new in it.”

“Na paisa kharch kar pa rahein hain, na hi juta pa rahein hain (railways is neither able to spent money nor able to mobilise funds),” the Janata Dal-United leader said.

He questioned the decision not to touch passenger fares, saying it should be decreased in view of drastic fall in oil prices in the international market.

“What has surprised me is that there was no action plan in the budget. It is an incomplete budget,” he said, describing the budget as a “dibba (coach) without passengers”.

Nitish Kumar said Bihar was neglected in the Railway Budget and the state’s people were totally disappointed.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who too is a former railway minister, said the Railway Budget has exposed that the railways has derailed itself. “Rail patri se utar gayee hai (the rail has derailed),” he quipped.

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