New Delhi: UPA chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s family fiefdom (Rai Bareilly and Amethi) has dominated this year’s rail budget as the Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced sops for the high profile constituencies. Bansal tried to win the hearts of party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi by announcing several projects for their parliamentary constituencies.
Uttar Pradesh got over a dozen of new trains. Several new factories and workshops have been proposed in the rail budget 2013-14. Interestingly, the Congress got opportunity of presenting the rail budget in the Parliament after a gap of 17 long years thanks to the successive coalition government at the Centre.
It clearly reflects in this budget. National Steel Corporation Limited in collaboration with Railways will set up wheel factory at Rai Bareilly, while workshop for overhauling of bagons of freight trains will be established in adjoining constituency Pratapgarh represented by Ratna Singh.
After a long time, the state has got 13 pairs of new trains including express, passenger, demu-memu. Kolkata-Agra and Lucknow-Varanasi will pass through via Rai Bareilly and Pratapgarh. Apart from it, Bandra Terminus (Mumbai)-Ramnagar Express tri-weekly will be running via Mathura.
Despite the emphasis on Rai Bareilly and Amethi, the rail budget has given Lucknow division more than the last year. Out of 13 pairs of new trains announced for the state, seven will originate/terminate/pass through Lucknow. Trains like Lucknow-Yashvantpur Express (weekly) via Rae Bareli and Pratapgarh will ease the traffic.