Nitish Kumar feels Railway budget lacks direction

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Patna, Feb 26 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister and former Railway Minister Nitish Kumar described today's 2008-09 Railway budget as hopeless and directionless.

Reacting to his arch political rival and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's presentation of budget proposals, Mr Kumar said it was nothing but a jugglery of figures as no serious attention was paid towards ensuring better comforts and amenities for railway passengers.

'' From his long budget speech it appeared that Mr Prasad had become a victim of feel good factors and preferred to give credit to only himself for all the work done so far for the development of Indian Railways, '' the Chief Minister felt.

He criticised Mr Prasad's alleged efforts to hand over the control of the 'Terminal Management' to private sector enterprises.

He also held the Railway Minister responsible for doing 'practically nothing' for speedy implementation of the much-talked- about dedicated freight corridor across the country's vast railway network.

Regarding the utilisation of railway tracks, Mr Kumar expressing serious concern said presently it was being used at 160 per cent of its capacity which was very alarming from the safety point of view.

All these problems were certainly going to create tremendous headache for the future Railway Ministers, Mr Kumar said and added jokingly as such '' I want him (Mr Prasad) to continue in the same Ministry forever''.


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