Railways must complete pending projects, check corruption: BJP

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) The BJP today criticised the Railway Ministry for not increasing the rail network, resulting in enhanced load on the existing routes and infrastructure and demanded that pending projects be completed on a priority basis and prevailing corruption checked.

Participating in the debate on the Railway Appropriation Bill presented in the Rajya Sabha by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, Mr Lalit Kishore Chaturvedi of the BJP said that many projects which were sanctioned during the fourth five year plan were yet to be completed. He said that prompt action should be taken to avoid these long delays which escalate the cost of projects and steps taken to complete the pending projects.

He questioned the need for increasing the financial targets for the project when the physical targets were either not met or reduced. The BJP MP also emphasised the need for completing the gauge conversion work on a priority basis in the entire country.

Welcoming the Railway Minister's move on private public partnership, he said that it should be cautiously used and employment protected.

Moreover, new factories for engine and coach manufacture should be set up, he said and old signals and bridges replaced to ensure safety and fill the backlogs. He also called for providing more residential facilities to railway employees by constructing multistorey buildings which would have all the facilities.

Highlighting the corruption prevalent in the railway system, he said an inquiry should be made and steps taken to reduce it. Mr Chaturvedi also wanted the minister to reduce the regional imbalance in the railway infrastructure and demanded that many new projects be set up in Rajasthan which has been neglected in the santioning of rail projects.

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