As usual the railway Budget 2012 evoked mixed response from the elite. The Congress and its allies gave moderate and appreciative comments, the oppositions slammed the budget.
Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi presented the Railway Budget 2012, today. Marginal hike of passenger fares for all classes and trains. But the Congress laments that the hike was only after nine years. Railway Minister has proposed a 30 paisa per km hike for AC first class travel, a 15 paisa per km hike for AC second tier and a 10 paisa per km hike for AC third tier. Platform tickets would now cost Rs 5. Passenger fares are likely to add Rs 36,073 Cr to the railway's revenue in the next fiscal. The minister announced the introduction of 75 new express trains and 21 new passenger trains. The introduction of Guru Parikarma train covering Amritsar, Patna and Nanded was also announced.
Well from the common man’s point of view the most reliable and dependant transport is going to cost a little more. Newer trains announced for more destinations. Indian Railways Stations Development Corp, a statutory body to be constituted. This body shall foresee the development of stations and maintain them like airports. Bio Toilets also shall replace the conventional discharge toilets right now in use. However from the start to the finish the Minister was saying Safety... Safety… Safety!!!! Whatever the man has done is detested by his own party Trinomul Congress and the minister might have his job axed for the passenger fares hike.
Now let us see what the elite feel like:
· Akhilesh (of Samajwadi Party) on many new trains for Bengal: Most trains go via UP. So we can stop them here and board them.
· Pranab Mukherjee, Congress: Proposal, which the railway minister has made it, will prove for building up the capacity
· Yashwant Sinha, BJP: Rates should have increased long ago but in small doses, not in a chunk like this
· Nitish Kumar, BJP: After listening to Rail Minister for 1Hr 50 Min realized that ppl talk so much when they have nothing to say
· Lalu Prasad Yadav, RLD: We kept on reducing fares when I was minister, still we had a profit of Rs7,000 Cr
. Sitaram Yechury, CPM: It's absolute double standards. First, Trinamool ministers in Cabinet clear President Speech with mention of NCTC in it and then they go and ask for deletion. The Rail Budget is cleared by government of which Dinesh is a part, and then they go and protest
· Girija Vyas, Congress: As far as the fares are concerned, they were not raised for a long time. The hike is very minor in view of the rise in fuel prices.
· Political analyst Amulya Ganguli: The price hike is a big concession to the market forces and it goes against Mamata Banerjee's strident refusal to hike fares.
(With inputs from internet- AarKay)