Lok Satta

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 14:04

Railway Budget disappointing: Dr. JP


Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan said the Railway Budget is disappointing in that it did not unveil any strategy to make Indian Railways the engine of economic growth.

In a media statement, Dr. JP pointed out that decades of neglect and years of populism have landed the railways in a crisis. Instead of building up reserves on investments made more than a century and half ago, the railways are today forced to borrow at high interest rates and turning projects unviable.

Railways have over the years lost the lion's share of cargo movement to roads. As a result, roads have come under enormous stress. Cargo movement on roads not merely results in higher fuel consumption but contributes to pollution and wear and tear of vehicles.

Dr. JP said that the railways have not paid adequate attention to urban public transport. The Railway Minister ought to have unveiled an innovative plan to integrate rail, road and metro transport in such a way that with a single ticket a passenger can move about in urban areas.

On the whole, Dr. JP said, the railway budget appeared to be an accountant's statement lacking in imagination.