Lok Sabha

July 14, 2014

Suvendu Adhikari speaks against the Railway Budget | Transcript

Respected Chairman, Sir, I am very much thankful to you for giving me this opportunity to speak in this august House in the debate on the Railway Budget.

Sir, I am a second time Member. My senior colleague and ex-Railway Minister, Shri Dinesh Trivedi had very nicely spoken on the Railway Budget earlier during the day. He had exposed the anti-people Railway Budget presented by the NDA Government.

Sir, I am speaking on behalf of All India Trinamool Congress to strongly oppose the Railway Budget 2014-15. This Budget is completely anti-people. It is an aimless and baseless attempt by the Union Railway Minister.

This Budget has not reflected the budgetary project allocations and other distributions for the already sanctioned projects by the then hon. Railway Minister and our supremo Ms. Mamata Banerjee for West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and other important States of India. It is well-known that our leader, Ms. Mamata Banerjee was the Indian Railway Minster the second time from 2009 to 2011. During her glorious regime, she did not put any burden on common people by enhancing price of railway tickets and freights in the name of tackling odds and challenges of the India Railways. She had always fulfilled her social obligations to the common people of our country. During her regime, a great railway project ‘IZZAT Scheme’ was introduced at a monthly fare of only Rs. 25 for 100 kilometer journey for the social benefit of those who live below poverty line as per the recommendations of hon. MPs.

Sir, it is a matter of pleasure that a few days ago, the hon. Prime Minister inaugurated Jammu-Katra Railway line, which was also announced and sanctioned by the then Railway Minister and our supremo, the hon. Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamata Banerjee. I would like to highlight multiple numbers of examples that would obviously show deprivation of West Bengal in this Rail Budget.

Swatantrata ke baad Bengal ke saath is tarah ka ved bhav kisine nahi kiya. Bengal se Swami Vivekananda aaye. Netaji SUbhas Chandra Bose paida huye. Bengal se Kaviguru Rabindranath Tagore ne internationally margdarshan kiya. Lekin kai kaam Bengal ke liye is tarah nahi hua.

Now, I would like to give some specific examples. The first example is of Kolkata Metro Extension Project. They are: Howrah Maidan to Salt Lake Sector V; BBD Bag to Joka; Noapara to Barasat; New Garia to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. The project was declared in 2009-10. It was sanctioned by the Railway Board and the Planning Commission. The cost of the project was Rs. 11,257 crore. The budgetary allocation in 2014-15 is only Rs. 538 crore. The balance required to complete the work is Rs. 10,719 crore.

Second example is wagon industry in Haldia. This was announced in 2011-12. It needs Rs.36.36 crore. You have allotted only Rs.24.80 crore. It still needs Rs.11.56 crore. Then comes the new coach factory at Kanchrapara-Halisahar Railway Complex. It was sanctioned in 2009-10. An amount of Rs.739.38 crore is needed to complete this project but you have allotted only Rs.39 lakh. Then, there is Adra Coach Factory. There is factory for manufacturing electric and diesel engine components at Dankuni.

Dakshineswar-Dum Dum-Barrackpore Metro extension comes in the constituency of Prof. Saugata Roy. He is sitting here. The project cost is Rs.1997.10 crore. The allotted amount in this Budget is only Rs.20 crore. It needs Rs.1977.10 crore. Then there is axel manufacturing factory at New Jalpaiguri. Then, there is Railway Research Centre at Kharagpur. Then money is needed for land acquisition for the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project (Howrah to Amritsar) which was announced in 2009-10. The project cost is Rs.656 crore. The allotted amount is Rs.286 crore. Rs.370 crore is needed for land acquisition.

Double line project from Baruipur to Magrahat, new line project from Bongaon to Bagdha, new line project from Dankuni to Furfura Sharif, new line project from Digha to Jaleswar up to Puri, new line project from Nandakumar to Balaiponda, Moyna, from Ramnagar to Egra and from Kanthi to Egra, new line project from Panskura to Haldia and from Rajgoda to Tamluk, new line project from Amta to Bagnan, new line project from Nandigram to Hijli Pirbaba via Jhellingham—all these 34 projects aapne barbad karne ke liye jo kaam karne the, NDA Govt ne rail mantra ke naate kaam kiya. Bengal ke logo ke saath is tarah ka ved bhav kabhi nahi hua.

In the light of the above, I would like to make some demands on the hon. Union Railway Minister, on behalf of our Party, All India Trinamool Congress, through you, Sir. My first demand is, please rollback the price hike in ticket fare and freight for the greater interest of the common people keeping in view that 50 per cent of the people in our country are still living below the poverty line. My second demand is that the proposal to inject FDI in the railway sector must be withdrawn for the economic and social interest of our country.

My third demand is that we are not begging for any new projects in West Bengal but our demand is very simple that the projects already sanctioned by the Railway Ministry in the Union Railway Budgets for the years 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 must be completed within the stipulated time period and requisite allocation for the projects must be made by the Union Railway Minister. When the hon. Minister is going to reply tomorrow, we expect his humble consent in this regard. We hope the hon. Union Railway Minister must honour ache din shuru hone ka nara diya hai. Isse aap pura kijiye yeh hamari mang hai.

Now, in this context, I would like to quote Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore:
“Beneath he will tie you
Whom you have nethered
Behind he draws you
Whom you have trailed.”

Before I conclude my speech, I again reiterate our strong opposition to this anti-people Railway Budget for the year 2014-15. Thank you, Sir.