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Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah today termed the second railway budget of the NDA government as a 'derailed' budget. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has failed to live up to the expectations of the common man, he said.
“Within nine months of Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister, the price of crude oil has come down by half in the international market. According to some estimates, this has resulted in savings of Rs 18,000 crore for the Railway Ministry. The minister could have passed on the benefits to the common man by announcing a cut in the train fares. This is a disappointing budget,” Siddaramaiah said.
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In Karnataka, the state government has passed on the benefit of the crash in the crude oil prices to the common man by reducing the bus fares. The same could have been done by the Railway Minister, he said.
The chief minister also termed as a failure on the part of the NDA government not announcing any new trains. “The Centre has failed utterly in living up to the expectations of the common man. The wheel of development cannot be stopped. It has to keep on rolling,” he said.
He also questioned the Railway Minister as to what will he achieve by not announcing any new train. The minister has only announced the continuation of what was decided in the previous year’s budget. Railways is a common man's transport system; it cannot just think of making profits. The Railway Minister has also not specified how he will generate funds to take up so many modernisation programmes.
Former Railway Minister D V Sadananda Gowda had announced 24 new trains for Karnataka and over half of them have not even been started by the Railways. The state government had asked for new trains between Gadag and Wadi, Davanagere and Tumakuru, Hospet and Hubballi, and Tumakuru and Arasikere. But, none of the trains were approved. The minister has also not said anything about the high-speed train between Bengaluru and Mysuru.
“It seems Suresh Prabhu has been deeply influenced by the Prime Minister in his oratorial skills. But, it looks as if he is trying to run a train without tracks,” Siddaramaiah ridiculed.