MPs demand expeditious railway development

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New Delhi, Nov 29 (UNI) The ruling as well as Opposition members in the Lok Sabha today appreciated the Indian Railways for its unique initiatives and improved performance in the past few years, but complained delay in execution of new rail lines, gauge conversion, doubling and electrification.

The members were participating in a discussion on Supplementary Demands for Grants for Railways for 2007-08, piloted by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad.

Initiating the debate, senior BJP member Dr Lakshminarayan Pandey lauded some of the new iniatives of the Railway Ministry, including modernisation of railway stations.

He, however, asked the Minister to take measures for expeditious completion of gauge conversion and electrification.

Dr Pandey wanted the Ministry to improve the railway catering system in terms of hygiene.

Mr Jai Prakash (Congress) and Mr N N Krishna Das (CPI-M) listed the achievements of the UPA government in the railway sector and congratulated Mr Prasad for the turnaround of the Indian Railways, which remained in the red for many years.

Mr Prakash demanded that all the unmanned crossings should be converted into manned crossings. He complained that Haryana had been neglected in this matter.

Mr Krishnadas appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr Prasad to fulfil the promise of setting up a modern coach factory in Kerala. The assurance was given in the context of the amicable solution of the Salem railway division issue, he pointed out.

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