West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed the Centre for deciding to stop eight routes of the Eastern Railway in the state on the plea that they were “not commercially viable”. She dubbed the decision as a “politically motivated” one. Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat that the chief commercial manager of the Eastern Railways had written to the state chief secretary, saying that these routes were not commercially viable and that they would be stopped unless the state bore 50 per cent of the cost involved.
“How can they (Centre) take such a decision without discussing it with the state government? This is a central government project, why will the state pay?” she asked. Pointing out that the railways had recently increased the train fares, she sought to know why these projects were being stopped. Stating that the Centre was collecting taxes from the state, the chief minister alleged that it had stopped many projects in the state and curtailed funds for many others. “There is a limit to misuse of power. We will not tolerate it,” she added.
The eight routes which are to be stopped are Burdwan-Katwa, Sonarpur-Canning, Santipur-Nabadwipghat, Barasat-Hasnabad, Baruipur-Namkhana, Ballygunj-Budge Budge, Kalyani-Kalyani Simanta and Bhimgarh-Palastali, Banerjee said.