Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday expressed disappointment on the Railway Budget calling it an ‘empty box’. (Agencies)
"There is nothing in the Rail Budget worth to comment on. The issue of railway safety has been taken up and the speech by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi merely speaks about safety measures," he told reporters here.
Kumar, himself a Railway Minister during the NDA rule, recalled that the ministry during his tenure had set up a corporate safety fund and a corporate safety plan for a ten-year period of 2003-13.
"The incumbent Railway Minister (Lalu Prasad) chose to keep quite on the corporate safety plan because the UPA government at the Centre did not pay attention to the safety issue, as a result of which the number of railway accidents has increased over the years.
"The UPA government did not care for railway safety for the better part of its term. But as it comes near the end of its term it has again started talking about safety measures, but in future tense," he said.
He said the Railway Budget presented on Wednesday ‘simply does not give hope for improvement to the commuters’.
"The fact that the Railway Minister spoke for nearly two hours on the 2012-13 Railway Budget was an indication that he did not propose to do much on the ground," he added. Kumar said he was disappointed with the Railway Budget for lack of emphasis on completion of pending projects.
"Going by the slow pace of execution of rail projects in Bihar, it speaks poorly of the performance of the ministry," he said.
There was also no relief for the commuters and common man in the rail budget, he said.
"The Railway Minister appeared to be filled with a sense of guilt in announcing passenger fare hike, which had been done in the past under one pretext or the other," Kumar added.
Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday expressed disappointment on the Railway Budget calling it an ‘empty box’.