Railway Budget will again be pro-people: Lalu

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Bangalore, Feb 11: Hinting that the passenger fair will not be hiked in the coming Railway budget the Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad today said that it will be another 'Pro-people' budget.

Speaking after inaugurating the state's first Model Station at Yesvanthpur in the city, he said priority would be given to increase the number of General Coaches and leverage more comforts to the commuters. The Indian Railways had set a target to add about 4000 km of new lines, including expansion and widening, in the coming fiscal and Indian Railways had achieved a turn-around during last five years and paid Dividend to the Indian Government.

Stating that Indian Railways had a praposal to introduce Aluminium coaches for Goods trains, Mr Lalu Prasad informed that it would help to reduce about 40 per cent of operation costs besides increase the efficiency and carriage capacity.

Lalu, who would be presenting his fourth successive rail budget on February 26 said that Indian Railways had won the global attention for its robust performance.

"Indian Railways has surpassed the revenue target for 2007-08 by over 20 per cent. It runs over 11000 trains, has 7500 stations and manned by over 14.5 lakh employees over 1.5 crore passengers travel everyday" he said.

The Rakesh Singh Committee on reforms on Indian Railways had submitted its report and he had disagreed with its recommendations to reduce the staff by 20 per cent. "The observation of the Committee on reduction of staff is not acceptable," he stated.

The Railway minister also flagged off the extended service of Ajmer-Bangalore bi-weekly express to Mysore, inaugurated vending machiens and booking counters.

UNI

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