Expressing disappointment with the Railway Budget presented in the Parliament on Thursday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said it was full of “lofty ideas but without any action plan.”
“It’s like there is a train coach but no passenger,” said Kumar, who served as Railway minister during NDA regime of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“What has surprised me that there was no action plan in the budget, it is an incomplete budget,” he said, calling the budget as a “dibba (coach) without passengers”.
Kumar also said that, “though the budget was read by Suresh Prabhu it was prepared much earlier by somebody else,” taking an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Bihar CM expressed his concerns over lack of any announcement regarding pending Railway projects in Bihar notably two production units in Chapra and Madhepura started by former Railway minister Lalu Prasad.
“Likewise there is no clarity on future of mega Railway bridges three of which are in Bihar,” he said.
On announcement about new trains and increasing frequency of existing ones would be taken up later on, Kumar sarcastically said “the Railway budget seems divided into pieces.”
On promise of running bullet train in between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, he said his experience in Railway says “it is impractical.”
“Such ideas (bullet train) are good for showcasing but it does not seem feasible as it would require a huge investment and large scale acquisition of land,” he said.
About new design of coaches and increasing width of door, Kumar said these ideas had come during his tenure as Railway minister.
He said Narendra Modi government was trying to win claps by extending Railway network in Jammu & Kashmir and northeastern states of Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh whereas the fact was that these were started earlier.
“Narendra Modi government is fortunate that completion of Railway projects in J&K and the North East is happening during its time,” he said.