Replying to a discussion on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways, he said separate railways budget was only a "balloon" and only attracted "claps" in the House.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday attacked the previous Congress-led governments in Lok Sabha, saying they presented separate railways budget only to mislead people. Replying to a discussion on demands for grants of the Ministry of Railways, he said separate railways budget was only a “balloon” and only attracted “claps” in the House. He said the “fake” announcements used to only “mislead people in elections”.
Citing some examples, the Railways Minister said some projects are pending since 1974. He said allocations for the sector was enhanced to Rs 1.61 lakh crore this year from Rs 54,000 crore in 2013-14. The increased allocation is being used on 58 super critical and 68 critical projects, he said, adding the current government fixes big target and make all efforts to achieve that.
“We fixed a target for electrification of 6,000 km of rail line and reached 5,200 km as against 600-650 km of electrification in 2013-14,” he said. Goyal also criticised the previous governments on pension funds for the sector, stating they did not take any steps to strengthen this fund.
“In 2014, this fund was very low. We built that adequately,” he said, adding this government took calibrated steps to increase revenues for railways, rather than hiking fares by 60-70 per cent and burdening passengers. On criticism over slow pace of work in states, the minister said if states provide help in terms of land availability and other clearances, the project will be implemented at a fast pace. For north-eastern states, he said several projects are underway.
Earlier about 60 help lines numbers were there for registering complaints, but “we have only one (139) for general complaints” and another (182) for security-related matters. He said the ministry has sent a written reply to all members who have participated in the discussion.