Jamshedpur : The Railway Budget 2015 presented by Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu proved to be a damp squib for Chakradharpur, the highest revenue earning railway division in terms of freight in the country. The railway budget turned out to be a major upset particularly for the traders’ community.
Officials of Chottanagpur Passengers Association said that the Union Minister has not given any new trains. The association has been favouring new trains connected new cities but the Ministry has paid no heed to their demands they said.
U K Srivastava, official of Chottanagpur Passengers Association said expressed concerns that Jharkhand has been neglected in the budget. He said that the traders too were pinning hopes on the Government but it has not lived up to the expectations.
However another official noted : “We are delighted to note that in this railway budget , besides other steps taken for the safety of passengers, the railways have ensured safety for women”.
Meanwhile a senior official of Singhbhum Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that the Minister should have introduced a new train connecting Tatanagar to Jaipur, which they had been demanding over the years.
“We had sought increase in the frequency of the Puri-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, which plies via Tatanagar, and the Tata-Yeshwantpur Express keeping in view the demand of passengers. In our memorandum to the Railway Minister we had also demanded a direct train between Tatanagar and Jaipur, as a sizeable number of traders travel to the pink city,” said Suresh Sonthalia, vice-president of SCCI.
Trade bodies and passenger associations regretted the fact that Chakradharpur, which rakes in annual revenue of over Rs 5,000 crore and is an industry hub, has been given fair deal.
“Chakradharpur was not given a single new train. We were expecting introduction of at least some in the division. It is also surprising that there was no mention of the ambitious Kandra-Namkum railway project, which aims at reducing travelling time between Jamshedpur and Ranchi,” said S P Trivedi, an executive member of Chhotanagpur Passenger Association.
A railway official welcoming the budget said: “You can now book your tickets four months in advance, as against a period of two months currently.
The window for reserved ticket booking will be raised to 120 days versus the 60 days now.Today one of the biggest problems faced by the common man intending to travel in unreserved class is purchasing a ticket.
We are introducing ‘Operation Five Minutes’ to ensure that a passenger travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket within five minutes.