Abir Ranjan Biswas makes a Special Mention on the conversion of railway underpass into motorable road


Ranaghat is a very busy and important railway junction, with five important routes passing through it, including an international one connecting Dhaka. The track runs through the middle of Ranaghat municipality, dividing it into two halves, with nearly all public amenities lying on the western half including its court, its police station, the SDO’s office, the tehsildar’s office and all other administrative offices, and also its subdivisional superspeciality hospital which caters to the needs of millions of people of the subdivision and to the populations of contiguous SC-populated administrative blocks of Nadia and the adjoining district of North 24 Parganas, apart from five close-by municipalities, including two SC-populated ones, one of which hosts 90 per cent scheduled castes.

Three railway level crossings hold the passage to cross over from the eastern to the western part to access all the amenities. But because of the busy railway routes, the level crossings are kept closed frequently, specially during the night. The movement of very long freight trains on the international route, carrying goods to Bangladesh, also occur. All three gates remain closed for long periods of time barring access to the hospital. This often has fatal consequences for seriously ill patients and pregnant mothers. A large number of deaths caused due to detaining at the level crossings have made the people very apprehensive and circumspect, fearful about their own lives and of their near and dear ones.

Since the last three years, the people have been demanding a solution through the conversion of a recently constructed underpass into a motorable way, with a little modification, assuring millions of safety and survival.

In support of this demand, there have been continuous rail blockages on a number of occasions, when railway authorities pacified them by giving assurance but delivered nothing to the despair of one and all. Hence, I implore upon the Railway Minister to realise the gravity of the matter and ensure the much-solicited conversion of the underpass into a motorable road.

Manish Gupta asks a Question about sanctioned work-charged posts in Railways


Sir, the issue of work-charged staff in the Railways is very old and will continue for many years. We have this issue in other departments of the Government too; work-charged staff is a serious issue.

Now, I would like to ask the Minister, through you Mr Chairman, whether the Railways is deploying any other policy to control this malaise. Is something like benchmarking of manpower productivity ratio being continuously done because it is a useful tool to control the dynamics of work-charged staff?



Vivek Gupta asks a Supplementary Question on the providing of free Wi-Fi facilities by the Railways in stations in eastern India


Sir, through you I would like to know from the Hon’ble Minister that, if you look at the stations as part of the reply, in the northern part of the country, the central part of the country, the southern part of the country, even the western part of the country – there are more than 15 stations in each part of the country, but when it comes to the east, there are only two or three stations.

I would like to know from him, Sir, when does he plan to remove this discrimination and ensure that the eastern part of the country also enjoys Wi-Fi as the other parts of the country do.

Sir, I want to know is RailTel Corporation outside the Government of India? I thought it was a subsidiary of the Government, because in the answer to my question on the details of funds allocated and spent, that it is done by RailTel Corporation without any fund allocation from the Government? Sir, I want to know whether RailTel Corporation is a 100 per cent subsidiary, because the figures are not mentioned.

About the Wi-Fi being given free, we want to know from the Minister till when would it be given free? When do they plan to charge?


From demonetisation to railways and online trolls – Trinamool MPs raise several issues of importance in Parliament

It was a busy and productive day for Trinamool MPs in Parliament today. The day began with dharna on the completion of 90 days since demonetisation. The MPs highlighted the sufferings of the common people due to restrictions on cash withdrawal and demanded all restrictions be removed immediately.

Trinamool had given a Notice of Suspension of Business under Rule 267 to discuss the limits on withdrawal of cash. Speaking on the issue, Chief Whip of the party in Rajya Sabha, Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said: “Three months have passed since the Government announced demonetisation.”

SS Roy reminded the House that the PM had asked for 50 days for situation to normalise but 90 days are over and cash crunch is still there. “Our party is against the restrictions on cash withdrawal. Govt must immediately remove these restrictions,” he added.

Read the full transcript of his speech

Dola Sen raised the issue of electoral reforms in her Zero Hour Mention in Rajya Sabha. She said, “The issue has been part of my party’s DNA, its very existence, since it was established on 1st January, 1998. In last 18 yrs, Trinamool has dedicated first section of every manifesto to electoral reforms.” She said solution to electoral reforms is state funding through Election Commission.

Read the full transcript of her speech


During Question Hour, Leader of the AITC Parliamentary Party in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien raised the issue of online trolls. He said: “In today’s digital medium, everyone from civil society, every citizen can be a journalist because you can broadcast from your mobile phones.” He wanted to know if the government is planning to issue an advisory for high Constitutional authorities, including the Prime Minister of India, who are following unknown people on the digital medium.

Read the full transcript of his speech

MP Ahamed Hasan Imran raised the issue of job losses due to demonetisation during Question Hour. He asked the government, “what steps have been initiated for rehabilitation and compensation of the workers who have lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector due to demonetisation.”

Read the full transcript of his speech

During Question Hour in Lok Sabha, Mathurapur MP CM Jatua raised the issue of railway connectivity in Sunderbans. Arambagh MP Aparupa Poddar asked a question about railway safety mechanisms. Balurghat MP Arpita Ghosh raised the issue of internet penetration in rural areas.

Read the full transcript of CM Jatua’s speech

Read the full transcript of Aparupa Poddar’s speech

Read the full transcript of Arpita Ghosh’s speech

Demonetisation the most senseless, cruel, heartless and reckless step since independence: Trinamool in LS

Speaking during a discussion on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address in Lok Sabha, Trinamool MP Saugata Roy said that demonetisation is the most  senseless, cruel, heartless and reckless step taken by a govt since independence.

He slammed the government over demonetisation, political vendetta, rising intolerance in the country, deaths due to railway accidents, Maoist attacks, law and order situation in Jammu & Kashmir and foreign policy vis-a-vis China and Pakistan.

‘Ardh Satya’

He called the President’s speech ‘Ardh Satya’ as it does not mention most of the important issue facing the nation. He expressed concern over the protectionist policy of US which may create problems for trade and industry in India; Saugata Roy expressed solidarity with IT technologists working in the US. He also felt worried about the China-Pakistan axis being active against India.


He teared into the government on the issue of demonetisation. He said, “Demonetisation has destroyed the financial structure of our country. Why did you have to kill whole economy to get black money”? He added, “Ninety per cent of our people use currency notes, 45% of our economy is informal. Sir, you know the Prime Minister talks about digital economy. The total number of credit and debit cards in this country of 125 crore people is 9 crore. There are only 1.36 lakh bank branches in this country, only 2.18 lakh ATMs. Now, in a country which has 5.5 lakh villages, with this few debit and credit cards, with this few ATMs, how can you say that the economy will go digital? It has killed lives”

Saugata Roy demanded to know ow much of black money has been deposited in Rs 1000/500 notes? He said the RBI Governor could not provide the answer. The RBI Governor could not tell us how much time is required to remove the restrictions on withdrawals, he added. Calling demonetisation a surgical strike on the people of India, he said GDP will fall because of the reckless step and that people will respond to this action.

Political Vendetta

Terming the arrests of Trinamool’s Leader in Lok Sabha, Sudip Bandyopadhyay, and MP Tapas Pal as political vendetta, Saugata Roy said Centre is misusing agencies like CBI because the party, led by Mamata Banerjee, has been vocal against demonetisation from Day 1. Saugata Roy said the party will fight against political vendetta on the streets and people will ultimately throw this government out of power. He demanded to know why investigation was not being allowed into the Sahara diaries.

Bank NPAs

Saugata Roy made a mention of the crisis in banking sector, highlighting that total NPAs of banks stands at whooping Rs 8 lakh crore. He wondered how Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi were allowed to flee the country. He added that the President’s speech does not mention the word ‘unemployment’ and that the country is facing a crisis in private sector investment.

Law and Order

Saugata Roy criticised the government over the increased incidents of Maoist attacks in the country. He also highlighted the absence of any mention of ‘intolerance’ in the President’s speech. “Dalits were attacked in Gujarat. In Karnataka a rationalist was killed by Hindu extremists,” he said. Saugata Roy also spoke about the violence in Jammu & Kashmir in 2016 following the encounter of Burhan Wani. He attacked the government, which champions itself over women empowerment, over the fact that only Rs 400 crore out of Rs 2000 crore Nirbhaya Fund was in implementation stage.


Click here for the full transcript of his speech.

Railways facing neglect: Mamata Banerjee

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed grief over the loss of lives  in the derailment of Jagdalpur-Bhubaneswar Hirakhand Express and alleged the Railways is now neglected and given less priority with curtailment in the Budget.

Mamata Banerjee, who had previously served as the Rail Minister, took to Twitter hours after the derailment. She wrote: “Railways carries crores of people every day. It is the lifeline of the nation. We are proud of our Indian Railways employees. However, now Railways is neglected & being given less priority. The Budget is being curtailed. Safety and security are being compromised.”

“We don’t blame the minister, he is earnest in his efforts. But govt needs to address issues urgently,” the CM said in another tweet.

Mamata Banerjee also offered condolences to the family of the deceased.


রেলকে কম গুরুত্ব দিচ্ছে কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারঃ মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়

শনিবার রাতে হীরাখণ্ড এক্সপ্রেস লাইনচ্যুত হওয়ার ঘটনায় শোক প্রকাশ করেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী মমতা বন্দ্যোপাধ্যায়। রেলকে কম গুরুত্ব দেওয়া হচ্ছে বলে অভিযোগ করেন মুখ্যমন্ত্রী।

টুইটারে মুখ্যমন্ত্রী জানান, “ভারতীয় রেল দৈনিক কয়েক কোটি যাত্রী বহন করে। এটাই দেশের জীবনরেখা। আমরা ভারতীয় রেলের কর্মচারীর কাজে গর্বিত। অথচ রেল বিভাগ অবহেলার শিকার। রেলকে খুব কম গুরুত্ব দেওয়া হচ্ছে। রেলের জন্য বাজেট কমানো হচ্ছে। যাত্রীদের সুরকশা ও স্বাচ্ছন্দ্যের সঙ্গে আপস করা হচ্ছে। আজকের দুর্ঘটনায় আমি মর্মাহত। অনেক যাত্রী প্রাণ হারিয়েছেন। তাঁদের আত্মার শান্তি কামনা করি,। তাদের নিকটজনকে আমার সমবেদনা জানাই”।

তিনি আর একটি টুইটে লেখেন, ‘আমরা মন্ত্রীকে দোষ দেব না। তিনি যথাসাধ্য চেষ্টা করছেন। এই বিষয়টিকে দ্রুত গুরুত্ব দেওয়া উচিত সরকারের।’


Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar speaks during the Discussion on the Railway Budget 2016

Mananiya Sabhapati Ji, Main meri party Sarva Bharatiya Trinamool Congress ki oar se abhar vyakt karti hu ki aap ne mujhe mauka diya Rail Mantri ki pesh kiya hua jo Budget hain unn per charcha karne ke liye.

Mananiya Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu ji halhi mein Kolkata aaye they aur unhone mujhe behen bol ke pukara. Mere mann mein toh laddu futne lagi ki abhi Budget mein mujhe kuch milne wale hain. Lekin main hairan ho gayi ki Budget mein na mere kshetra Barasat aur Udayrajpur station ke liye kuch tha, na mere rajya ke liye kuch tha aur na sare uttar purba anchal, jo ‘seven sisters’ hain, pichre huye rajyo hain, ke liye kuch tha. Main abhi unko yeh bolna chahti hu ki yeh jo States hain North-East mein, pichra hua States hain, salo sal se yeh States vanchit hain aur aap jante ho ki inke mang koi nehi sunta.

Lekin Paschim Bangal ka sawal par main baad me aayungi. Yeh North-East mein jo States, hain jab hamare mukhyamantri mananiya Mamata Banerjee Rail Mantri thi, tab unhone inn rajyo ke liye bahut kuch sanction kar ke bahut kuch kohshish ki thi.

I will quote, “Madam, I propose to draw up a masterplan for the development of railway infrastructure in the North-East in consultation with the North-East Development Council and the State authorities concerned. In the North-East, 10 projects have been declared as national projects and adequate funds have been provided. The progress of some of the projects is getting affected by the adverse law and order situation. However, the Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project has been given special priority for expeditious completion. The work on the Byrnihat- Shillong route has also been included in this Budget as a national project for providing rail connectivity to the capital of Meghalaya. And also the tea-growing region of Barak Valley between Durlavchera and Cheragi has been sanctioned this time.”

She had also mentioned in her Budget, and I quote, “Madam, the government is giving priority in providing rail connections with the neighbouring countries. Surveys for five new lines have been conducted for rail connectivity with Nepal. Out of these lines, it is proposed to take up new lines from Jogbani to Biratnagar,” etc.

So out of these that she had started, we really don’t find much allotment given to them now, and I would like to refer to a published document of the Ministry itself. Misaal ki khatir do char States ki naam leti hu.

Andhra Pradesh has a total track length of 7,033 km, West Bengal, of 10,466 km, Maharashtra, of 9,208 km. Compare this with the north-eastern states: Arunachal Pradesh has a total track length of 23 km only. Manipur, of 3 km, Meghalaya, of 13 km, Mizoram, of 5 km, Nagaland, of 24 km and Tripura, of 193 km. Isn’t it so sad? This in a country which is governed everywhere by the same rules and laws; and we have peoples’ representation here. The people of these States are being deprived. This is not my data, this is published data, and hardly any allotment has been given to these States.

And for the last seven years, I have been a member of this Standing Committee and through it, from the reports published and the discussions, we get to know that the Ministry of DoNER is sometimes given money from the Central government for the development of infrastructure which includes schools, hospitals, electrical substations, roads and railways. They are working through the Ministry of DoNER. And in spite of the thousands of crores (I don’t want to go through each because it will be a very lengthy process) being allotted through the Ministry of DoNER for the development of these north-eastern States, none of the work has progressed. I really tend to agree that the goodwill shown by the allotment of money or by the demand of the citizens is totally absorbed somewhere down the line. I don’t know whether it is by the bureaucracy or elsewhere. But no work is really taking place on the ground level, and the people are suffering.

So this has to be given a really serious thought when the Rail Budget is again discussed and I would request the Hon’ble Railway Minister to take into account the plight of the people of the north-eastern region.

Now about the state of affairs in West Bengal. When our Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister, she had proposed certain amounts of money for some factories in West Bengal. And we from the All India Trinamool Congress party had met the Hon’ble Railway Minister one year back, on 18th march 2015, with our requirements. We had pleaded with him to let us continue the projects started so that the people can benefit and eastern India as a whole can progress. Among those projects were the Kanchrapara railway coach factory, Kharagpur workshop, Noapara workshop, Dankuni railway equipment factory and the modernisation of Liluah. But I am so sorry to say that in this Budget only Rs 1000 has been given to these projects. It looks like some kind of joke to me. Rs 1000 se kya hoga? And why are we being neglected so much?

In last year’s Budget there were 31 pages and this is 46 pages, but I really don’t understand if there is really anything extra here or whether any thought or any homework or discussion has gone behind preparing this year’s 46 pages of Budget?

Maine abhi abhi suna ki Sansad mein logon ka suraha ka kaam hota, and there have been discussions to have committees, but I don’t think I have ever been called to any committee where our requests were bided. I think there is a some kind of a communication gap within the bureaucracy.

An underpass was sanctioned when my leader Smt Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister. Woh kaam ruka huya tha. Main abhari hoon ke Rail Mantra ji ne unko chalu karne ka irada liya.

The work started. The Engineering department, they were very kind to start the work. Before they could proceed any further on the first day the signal on the electrical department gave a stay order and the work is stop so I think there is some kind of communication gap at that bureaucratic level. So that whatever their decision is going from here that is also not being implemented. Now this budget we are looking at it really doesn’t look like a budget to me. Because there are only few pages in the end of it. Otherwise the rest of it there is no mention about the passenger earnings, about the fate earnings, about the gross traffic resifts and the budgetary supplements etc.

So we really feel that this kind of serious thought has to be given before we can proceed further with the works that pending from the time that Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal presently who was then the Hon’ble Railway Minister. She was trying for the whole country and she had sanctioned many projects. Most of the projects are stopped. Now I don’t understand whether it is political vendetta or not but the fact of the matter is that it is not happening.

Now we had also requested the Hon’ble Minister that certain thinks be taken into account which have not being taken into account though this budget since like a shadow of vision 2020. Most of the things that my Chief Minister of West Bengal Hon’ble Mamata Banerjee she had published in the vision 2020 document.

And like what Bengal thinks today India thinks tomorrow. Most of the things of the visions 2020 document about the rest of the country has taken but except the project is in West Bengal. So it is a matter of great regret that we are being left out from the whole project like this and to quote a few, you know the double decor train was first Mamata Banerjee’s idea. She has started 9 such.

The increasing of speed of train was also started buy her and she has started the Duranta Express. But in an unprecedented move unfortunately the name of Duranta is also being changed. Which has never happened in India? Rajdhani has always remained Rajdhani. But why the name of Duranta has been changed if duffels me totally.

See there has also been regional cuisine introduced into trains by Mamata Banerjee. Dedicated freight corridor work has started during her period. The revenue earning through advertisement through airspace and land space of rail was also her idea she started putting advertisement on the walls of the local stations. The IT initiatives in ticketing were taken by her and she started computerized ticketing system. Organizational restructuring were done in 32 places. The improvement of passenger comfort she also started and I remember that she had started a lady’s waiting room along with a lady’s toilet in Barasat and when in this times Budget, we find toilet here, toilet there, toilet everywhere. It is not that I am opposing toilets, it is a good idea to keep the country clean but where on the one hand we are talking about toilets everywhere. There was one lady’s toilet in Barasat’s station in my constituency along with the lady’s waiting room, which has been taken by the officials and the lady has been thrown out and is being used as an office now. It simply baffles me why. The toilets started by Mamata Banerjee are being closed down .

In a local trends and local commuters are there but I don’t know why. The ninth point in the version 20:20 document had said about enlarging the freight basket. This is also there this time and the innovation and incubation. I think most of the points are from version 20:20 but what is significantly missing is the Izzat ticket. Jo garib hai, jo lachar hai, ussko izzat se saffar karne ke leya izzat ka ticket diya gaya tha. Bees kilometre woh pachees rupaya meh chalte tha aur ham jo sansad hai. Hamar paas aatha ham signature karke dethe the aur maheena bhar jata tha apna kam meh, school meh kehe nuakri mai, who izzat chenliya gaya hai. I seriously demand that the Izzat ticket be brought back and women particularly vendors and the working class be given this chance to travel at a very low cost. The next point that I would like to highlight here is the security of the train, the security of the passengers to maintain the security and running of trains smoothly. The MMUs have found no place in the Budget we don’t find any mention of them. Though the lot of gang men is being improved it’s a commendable step taken, but i would really like to question the that there are about 80 thousand junior engineers in the railway and all of them together ensure the safety of the trains running and they spending a lot of their youth and time towards their work to make the railways run smoothly 80 thousand of them. I would just like to draw the attention of Hon’ble Minister here that the India Gazette notification number 605 was circulated by DOPT on ninth April 2009 to improve the quality of service given by government employees. Certain department like CPWD, MES etc they have upgraded junior engineers but the Indian Railways which is the largest technical organisation having 80000 of them , they have not taken this particular Gazette notification and these junior engineers are now made to work like Group D staff. I don’t think that is satisfying for them so for the security, safety of smooth running of the trains. I think their requirements and the gazette notification should be given respect. As far as the security is concerned this is quite strange and I heard other Hon’ble members speaking about it also and Hon’ble Minister also regarding the security arrangements. The maintenance of law and order in railways and railway premises is the responsibility of the concerned state “State Police”. Whereas the security of passengers and their belongings in the running train is the responsibility of the railway protection force. Now by the RPF amendment 2003 the railway protection force is suppose to take place of this. But you know when some crime happens, the common man really does not know the jurisdiction. There was this incident in Bangalore, some one month back when a gentleman, when a young person he was run over by a truck. I think most of you have seen that item in newspaper. His lower torso was run over and he was lying still alive, the upper torso also lying somewhere, when people went to pick him up the first thing he said is that I want to donate my organs because he knew that he was going to die.

Similar thing happened in West Bengal two weeks back a lady was run over by a train. A lady was run over by a train. Her legs were lying on the other side of the line. The upper part was the other side of line and remembering that incident reading it in the media, this lady remember and she is started telling people pick me up. And I want to donate my eyes, my organs but we will not believe Sir, there is a tussle between the local GRP and the Railway protection force as to in whose jurisdiction the legs are and whose jurisdiction is the body is and who will pick her up.

So I sincerely feel these two forces must be amalgamated or some kind of decision come at by which the whole Railway safety security premises passengers, everything is taken care of by one single force. So the people are safe when they are travelling.
There are 7000 passenger trains. And in this only 3500 have guards. So we think that all passenger trains must be accompanied by guards and we should have the other point of securities unman level crossing.

The unman level crossing total number has been nearly 30000. It is 30348. When Mamata Banerjee became the railway minister she has started manning them.

So that statistics proves that in 2011 consequential death due to accidents at level crossing which were unman was 46% which is come down to 33% in 2015 just why manning few level crossing. So we demand they cannot be any unman level crossing.

People have to be engaged to man them otherwise they have to be locked an Aerobes made. The aerobes are serious essentialities which have to be looked at so that people can travel safely.

I also have been crying for level crossing at Itna Colony and my friend Satabdi Roy (famous film star) she also want a level crossing of Makwa, we have been asking for five years now but really nothing else happen.

So I would like to draw the attention of the Hon’ble Minister also to a very serious inclusion in the budget this year. The Hon’ble Minister called the cabinet decision as a landmark by which 400 stations would be redevelop through PPP.

Now going through the Budget I find station development – PPP, Cleaning of stations– PPP, Facility Management – PPP, Logistic part – PPP, Where hose – PPP. I see a large cloud looming of privatization. I don’t know whether I am true or wrong. But so many PPPs for running towards railway is not healthy for the nation that is my feeling.

Now the railway employees 14 lakhs of people are working, the gagman have been taken care, thank you very much but what about the other 14 lakhs who are working. Hon’ble Railway Minister, the then Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had provided for the parents to travel for them to take for treatment from the employees, families, children to get better education facilities but none of it is here I find. So I think this should be given a thought.

And the last two points I would like to point out that about the pilgrim circuit is concern, West Bengal has many places of pilgrimage. We have Kalighat, Trakeswar temple, Tarapith Temple. We have Furfura Sarif. All have been left out. We want these to be connected in the pilgrim service.

And about the tourist circuits nobody can think of tourism in India without Dooars because that is the place where Flora and Fauna is in the hills of Himalayas. So let it be connected Sir.

Through this I would like to congratulate regarding the lowering of the Carbon Footprint that Hon’ble Minister is thinking for putting solar panels alongside the railway tracks but I would suggest that we have solar panels on a top all running trains so that local current camp be provided within the trains but these also Hon’ble the then railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had supplied CFL and ensured that CFL be only used so this was also started.

So I think that the vision 2020 of Mamata Banerjee has been followed to certain extent. But I don’t agree completely with the other things and I would draw your attention to it.

Pratima Mondal demands setting up of level crossing at Piyali railway station

Hon’ble Deputy Speaker Sir,

I would like to request the Hon’ble minister of Railways to intervene in the matter of construction of level crossing at Piyali Railway Station.

It is a very old railway station with good ticket selling counter. Sir, due to the absence of level crossing, vehicles of one side of the platform cannot move to the other side.

So, I would request the Hon’ble minister to do the needful.

Derek O’Brien speaks on the Appropriation (Railways) No. 2 Bill, 2015 | Full Transcript

Full Transcript

Sir, this government is talking to us about cooperative federalism. But unfortunately, if you look at the way they are dealing with Railways, they are killing federalism.

Even the MP, who spoke first today, suggested to his Minister to complete the existing projects. Mr Railway Minister, your own MP from the back benches is asking you to complete the existing projects, I am also saying the same thing. Complete the existing projects in Bengal.

You keep telling us that you gave us so many thousand crores. But look at the percentage of the funds also and not just the numbers. You go on and on about SPVs – Special Purpose Vehicles. I am beginning to wonder whether SPVs are Special Purpose Vehicles or are they Suresh Prabhu Vehicles.

Your intention is good but you have a basic problem. You are suggesting setting up of SPVs for each project and after completion they will be dissolved. The problem is you want the States to fund SPVs.

Sir, West Bengal is a debt-stressed state, like Punjab and other states. We have increased our revenues by 105% in the last three years without increasing taxes. But we carry a legacy of debt-burden. The CPM had to go out of power because of that and we are paying the interest for the debt they incurred.

While you are talking about cooperative federalism, you have to keep in mind the debt-stressed states. I also want to refer to my neighbouring state Odisha. Please study what happened with POSCO and associated SPV there. It ran into several problems.

Sir, the message I want to leave you with is very simple. Like your MP said in the beginning, complete the existing projects. You have not announced any new projects. Fair enough. Do not deprive states which are debt-stressed. Try SPVs once or twice, it will fail in six months and you will come back to normal.

You keep saying you are increasing the allocation of money to States from 32% to 42%. In reality, you are not. Please Mr Railway Minister please do consider these points, that is my request to you.

Thank you, Sir.

Trinamool MPs slam the Government on the Railway Budget 2015-16

Trinamool MPs Derek O’Brien and Nadimul Haque slammed the Railway Budget 2015-16 in Rajya Sabha, calling it anti common people.

Derek O’ Brien raised the issue of allocation of funds for pending projects in Bengal and gave suggestions regarding passenger and falling freight issue. He pointed out the current document was almost identical to the Vision 2020 document made in the time of Mamata Banerjee as Railway Minister.

Derek O’Brien pointed out that on counts of doubling, gauge conversion, growth of freight loading, growth of passengers originating, Railways performed much better during the tenure of Mamata Banerjee as the Railway Minister, rather than in 2013-14. He also asked the Minister to have a relook on the accounting system, which presently works on a system, which is 95 year old. He reiterated the stand of not supporting FDI in Railways.

“Freight in the Railways has come down from 60% to something like 30%. This is a big loss. I want to make here is that you have to stop competing with road and become a partner of the roads. Like Procter and Gamble (P&G), you should become Prabhu and Gadkari (P&G). Both of you have to work together,” saying that there should be unity in rail and road sector.

He criticised the Government for cutting down the allocations for metro projects and workshops and hollow promise of ‘look east’. He urged the current Government to preserve the only steam engine train run in Darjeeling which is a national heritage.

Click here for the full speech of Derek O’Brien.

Nadimul Haque called this Budget as anti poor. He termed this to be a joke on the poor people. He slammed the Government for not looking towards the backward region of the country. Despite the fact, that oil prices have decreased, the Government has increased the freight fares, which will hurt the common people and prices of essential goods will increase.

“Railway along with being a  National Asset is also a strategic Defense Asset where the PPP model will only benefit corporates. Railway is th elifeline of India’s large population, do not treat it just as a commercial entity”, he said.

Click here for the full speech of Nadimul Haque.