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Goyal accuses WB govt of depriving people of benefits of central schemes

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday accused the West Bengal government, led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, of depriving the people of the state of the benefits of central schemes such as the Ayushman Bharat and Prime Minister Kisan Yojana.

He said the CPI and the CPI(M) had earlier partnered with the Congress at the Centre and Banerjee's Trinamool Congress (TMC) was also part of the Congress-led UPA government, but West Bengal got little central benefits.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed that projects of any state will be completed on priority if land and other requisites are made available," Goyal said while inaugurating the first phase of the East West Metro corridor.

"We want to give more projects to West Bengal, but the state is not allowing those," he claimed.

Goyal, who also holds the important commerce portfolio in the Modi cabinet, said 8.88 lakh farmers across the country received the benefits of the Prime Minister Kisan (PMK) Yojana, but no one from West Bengal got those due to the refusal by the Mamata Banerjee government.

"In the Ayushman Bharat programme, nearly one crore people have got the benefits, but people of Bengal were deprived of it," he said.

Goyal said the Modi government had brought in a wave of development in the country with its motto: "sabka sath, sabka vikas, sabka viswas".

He added that the prime minister had, in 2014, said the wholesome development of the country could only happen if the eastern parts developed.

"Earlier, the west and the south developed but not the east," he said, adding that people from Bihar and West Bengal went to all parts of the country for work.

The people of the eastern parts of the country had not got an opportunity to enjoy the fruits of development before Modi became the prime minister, the railway minister said, adding that the focus of the Union government was on developing these parts of the country.

Flagging off an inter-city express between Balurghat and Kolkata through remote control, Goyal, on a lighter note, said it might have been a coincidence that the number of the train matched with his date of birth.

"While the number of the train is 13064, my date of birth is June 13, 1964," he said.

The railway minister also dedicated to the nation 140 kms of railway electrification project in the Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections of the Howrah and Malda divisions.

The commissioning of the new railway electrification project at a cost of approximately Rs 219 crore, covering the Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections, will help ensure seamless electric train operations on different routes of the Eastern Railway and reducing diesel consumption substantially.

Goyal said 83 per cent route kilometres of the Eastern Railway were electrified now and the remaining work was in progress so as to achieve 100 per cent electrification by 2021.

He also dedicated to the nation a 3-MW rooftop solar power plant at the Howrah station, which was installed without incurring any capital expenditure by the Indian Railways.

The cumulative revenue saving would be around Rs 40 crore over the next 25 years, an Eastern Railway official said.

Goyal also inaugurated from the Sector 5 station 41.13 kms of double/third line over the Howrah, Malda and Sealdah divisions of the Eastern Railway, which was completed at a cost of approximately Rs 550 crore.

The ER has commissioned double lines in the Nimtita-Dhulianganga (11.38 km) and Sujnipara-Nimtita (6.72 km) sections of the Malda division, the Mile 5B-New Alipore (1.67 km) section of the Sealdah division, the Lalbagh Court Road-Khagraghat Road (7.40 km) section and the Debipur-Rasulpur third line (13.96 km) of the Howrah division, the official said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 14 2020. 00:16 IST
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