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Union Budget 2017: Nitish Kumar slams Centre over 'killing' Railway autonomy

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday criticised the Centre for clubbing the Rail Budget with the general Budget saying "it has killed the autonomy of Railways", the lifeline of the country. "Railway ka bantadhar kar diya uski autonomy ko katham kar ke (They have ruined the Railways by killing its autonomy)," Kumar told reporters.

Nitish Kumar. Reuters.

Nitish Kumar. Reuters.

Kumar, who had served as Railway Minister, also seemed unimpressed by claims of 16.56 percent higher allocation of funds for Bihar. "First they should tell how much was spent out of budgetary allocations on Rail last year and how much was achieved out of the target set by the Railways for Bihar last year."

A day after presentation of the Budget on 1 February by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley which included the Rail budget, the East Central Railway (ECR) had claimed Bihar received 16.56 percent more funds for 2017-18 as compared to last year. "What happened to the announcement about creating a new Railway Division at Bhagalpur? What is the fate of the new Danapur-Kiul line approved during my tenure as Railway Minister which had shown a net 14.5 percent high Rate of Return to the Railways?" he asked.

"What is the level of cleanliness in the trains?... Cleanliness in First class AC coaches is even worse than that in the 3-tier general coaches," he said. "Instead of concentrating on basic issues like cleanliness and punctuality, it is advertising that milk or some other items are supplied to passengers after they send message on WhatsApp," he said. About introduction of bio-toilet, Kumar said this was an old one and during his tenure Southern Railway had already set up bio-toilet.

Updated Date: Feb 06, 2017 18:33 PM

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