'Railways Bankrupt; Mamata created history'

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Mamata Banerjee
New Delhi, Feb 24: Union Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is all set to present her rail budget 2011 on Friday, Feb 25. But just a day back, Opposition party CPI(M) claimed that the Railway Minister has created a history. The party asserted that the ministry made railways bankrupt now.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury critisised Mamata for "achieving the impossible task of making Railways bankrupt. She (Mamata) has actually made the Railways bankrupt, which is an impossible task."

Trying to attract the attention of people towards the expenditure made by railways on "unnecessary items", Yechury stated, "There has been an unprecedented number of advertisements in Bengal papers -- 79 advertisements in 81 days. So the Railways today is bankrupt. One of the reasons (for its losses) is also this sort of excessive expenditure."

However, sources informed that the Rail Budget 2011-12, which will be tabled in the Lok Sabha tomorrow, may also mention of mega base kitchens in the metros preparing 50,000 to 1 lakh meals per day for the train passengers. This would be managed by railway itself as per the new catering policy.

Keeping in mind the travel requirement during examinations, the Railway Minister may also announce running of student special trains. Along with Mumbai suburban rail system's capacity enhancement, Ms Banerjee also may mention the multi-mode transport system between Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Sources also have informed that Finance Ministry is likely to grant Rs 20,000 crore as gross budgetary support though the Railways had sought about Rs 39,000 crore from the Centre.

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