Kerala Chief Minister, MPs meet PM, Lalu

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (UNI) A delegation led by Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Members of Parliament from that state today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and submitted a memorandum, demanding increase in the Central quota of rice and implementation of various railway projects.

Talking to newspersons, Mr Achuthanandan said the delegation had brought to the notice of the Prime Minister that most Keralites depend on the Public Distribution System for food grains requirement. However, the Centre had cut down the APL rice quota for the state from 1,13,420 MTs to 21,334 MTs, from April 2007. ''It means there is a reduction of 88 per cent.'' The delegation urged Dr Singh to restore the quota of APL for Kerala as the price of rice had been steadily rising.

The Chief Minister said the delegation also appealed to the Railway Minister to consider his state's demand for creation of a separate zone for Kerala to fulfil the aspirations of the people.

The other demands included starting of new trains between Thiruvananthapuram and New Delhi, increase in the frequency of Rajdhani and Sampark Kranti Express, expedition of Ankamali- Azhuta Sabari line, construction of various railway overbridges, construction of a railway station near Nedumbassery Airport and setting up of a wagon repair workshop at Nemom.

Dr Singh and Mr Prasad assured the delegation their demands would be considered favourably.

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