Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar
today denounced the Rail budget
and said it was "just a speech, without any budget". He also expressed apprehensions over stress on PPP model, terming them as "attempts at privatisation of railways through back door".
Kumar, who served as Railway minister during NDA regime of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said the railway budget
was "like a train coach, but there are no passenger in it". The Bihar CM said though it sounds good that there was no announcement of fare hike, but demanded haircut in fares due to decline in petroleum prices. "Seeing slide in prices of diesel due to downslide in international pricing, the fares should have been slashed in fact," asked Kumar.
The Bihar CM expressed disappointment over lack of any announcement regarding pending Railway projects in Bihar like two production units in Chapra and Madhepura started by Railway minister in UPA I Lalu Prasad.
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"Likewise there is no clarity on future of mega Railway bridges three of which are in Bihar," he said.
On announcement about new trains and increasing frequency of existing ones would be taken up later on, Kumar sarcastically said "the Railway budget
seems divided into pieces."
was full of speech but without any action plan to support it", he said and apparently took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi by saying "though the budget
was read by Suresh Prabhu
it was prepared much earlier by somebody else."
He commented that stress on PPP model in Railways brings the apprehension about "attempt at privatisation of Railway through back door."
On promise of running bullet train in between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said his experience in Railway says "it is impractical."
"Such ideas (bullet train) are good for showcasing but it does not seem feasible as it would require a huge investment and large scale acquisition of land," he said.