Railway Budget lacks'' direction: Nitish

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Patna, Feb 26 (UNI) Bihar Chief Minister and former Railway Minister Nitish Kumar today described the Railway Budget as ''hopeless and directionless''.

Reacting to his arch political rival and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad's presentation of 2008-09 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 Railways, '' the Chief Minister said.

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.

On the utilisation of railway tracks, Mr Kumar while 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 future Railway Ministers, Mr Kumar said and added ''I want him (Mr Prasad) to continue in the same Ministry forever''.

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