As the Election Commission’s guidelines is no more a hindrance, West Bengal’s chief minister-in-waiting, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday took part in her last railway function at Howrah station here as the railway minster, laying foundation of as many as 14 railway lines in state beside inaugurating a bunch of new trains.
The outgoing railway minister was frequently seen inaugurating some railway projects in the state ever since she took charge of the ministry. But because of the Election Commission’s guidelines could not do so in the last couple of month. As soon as the guidelines got ineffective with end of election process, she is again back in action with inauguration of a bunch of new projects for the state.
Inaugurating the projects, the minister said, “All these projects were in the Budget proposal and I hope the rest of them will also be fulfilled as someone from my party is expected to take charge of the Railways ministry soon.”
Some of the railway line of which foundation stones were laid include, Sainthia-Tarapith third line, Nabawadip-Patuli Doubling, Bandel-Bainchi third line, Pujali-Uluberia New Line, Plassey-Jiaganj doubling, Naihati-Ranaghat third line, Rabindra Museum at Howrah, Gokulpur-Kharagpur doubling, Digha-Jaleswar new line, Bowaichandi-Arambagh new line, Ambari-Falakata-New Mayanaguri doubling, New Coochbehar-Samuktala Road doubling, Chalsa-Naxal new line, Raiganj-Dalkhola new line and Raiganj-Dalkhola new line.
At the same time, Banerjee also introduced Santragachi-Tirupati Superfast Express (weekly), Jhargram-Dhanbad MEMU, Howrah-Uluberia local and Howrah-Bandel local services. The railway minister has done the formal inauguration of services of Shalimar-Visakhapatanam Superfast Weekly Express and Shalimar-Puri Superfast Weekly Express.
The railways also increased frequency of 12245/12246 Howrah-Yeshvantpur Duronto Express (from 4 days to 5 days a week) and an and also extended Bankura-Rainagar Passenger services to Mathunasipur. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister in waiting inaugurated new line from Rainagar to Mathnasipur and also Aluabari Road-Siliguri Junction Guage conversion, to be commissioned by June. Mamata is slated to swear in as the new Chief Minister of West Bengal on May 20.
However, after the Trinamool stalwart, her party General Secretary and Minister of State for Shipping Mukul Roy is expected to take charge of the Railways Ministry, while some other names like that of her long-term political associate Dinesh Trivedi is also doing the rounds to head the high-profile ministry.