Making reservation of rail tickets hassle free without provision of adequate number of train services in tune with the burgeoning demand is of little consolation to passengers, commented the Lok Satta Party on the Railway Budget today.
Talking to the media, party spokespersons Katari Srinivasa Rao, V. Laxman Balaji and Mrs. K. Gita Murthy pointed out that Andhra Pradesh had suffered injustice once again in that there was no mention of the laying of new lines or funds allocation for the second phase of the MMTS in Hyderabad. The Railway Minister ignored the fact that the South Central Railway contributed a huge chunk of railway revenue. The Chief Minister washed off his hands off by writing a letter to the Railway Minister on what needs to be done to Andhra Pradesh while the 33 MPs belonging to the ruling party played no constructive role. If funds allocation to Andhra Pradesh continued at the present pace, construction of new lines and extension of the existing ones would take decades.
The Lok Satta leaders said that the so-called express trains in India run at a speed of 60 km an hour against 150 km in the developed world for want of track and signaling modernization.
They ridiculed the Railway Ministers claim of the plan to lay 3500 km of new railway track as courageous by recalling that the British rulers laid 40000 km of railway track in three years 160 years ago.
They, however, welcomed the proposals to develop 50 stations including Secunderabad, to improve hygiene and sanitation, concessions to women, the physically challenged and unorganized workers and reduction in the tatkal reservation charge.