Rly projects: Mamata focuses more on West Bengal

Santanu Sanyal Kolkata | Updated on November 10, 2017

The Railway Budget for 2011-12 surprisingly took care of various states, not West Bengal alone, notwithstanding the disruption caused by many Opposition members, who felt differently when the Budget was being presented.

True, the focus was on her own state and that was expected.

After all, West Bengal will be going for the Assembly election shortly and the Railway Minister has a big political stake in it. But it must also be conceded that while announcing any project for her own state, she also tried her best to make similar announcements for other states and regions.

Wagon units

For example, there is a proposal for launching three new wagon units, one each at Kerala, Karnataka and West Bengal. Similarly, out of four coaching terminals proposed, two will be in Kerala and one each in Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.

Under the Sukhi Griha Scheme, there is a proposal for building 10,000 shelters at several places including West Bengal. Also, West Bengal is one of the four states, the three others being Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand, where new lines are proposed to be constructed in unserved or underserved regions.

Rail Industrial Parks are proposed at Jellinghm (West Bengal) and New Bongaingaon (Assam).

Centres of excellence

To improve the skill of the frontline staff, several training centres of various types are being planned – two of them in West Bengal (Kharagpur and Kurseong) and three others at Karnataka (Dharwad), Maharashtra (Pune) and Uttar Pradesh (Agra).

The proposed polytechnics will be located at Vadodara (Gujarat), Varanasi (U.P), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Machlandpur (West Bengal) and Hubi-Dharwad (Karnataka).

Similarly, integrated suburban railway networks are being planned for Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.

For stepping up the use of technology in Railways, she has announced projects in collaboration with academic institutes located both within and outside West Bengal.

Stand alone projects

True, the Railway Minister has announced some stand alone projects for her own State such as a centre of excellence in software at Darjeeling under the aegis of CRIS (Centre for Railway Information Systems) or on-track machine manufacturing unit at Uluberia or a metro coach factory at Polba, but stand-lone projects have also been announced for other States such as centres of excellence for development and prototyping various types of mechatronics systems at RCF Kapurthala and DMW Patiala, diesel locomotive unit at Manipur, 700-MW gas-based power project at Thakurli (Maharashtra), two projects for Jammu & Kashmir, and, as part of the drive to push green energy, regenerative braking in Mumbai EMU and windmill at ICF, Chennai.

The proposals for gauge conversions, doubling and new constructions cover almost the entire country.

Several Opposition members shouted as she announced proposals for improvement of services for Kolkata Metro. But then she had no choice. Kolkata Metro is the only underground railway system run by the Indian Railways.

Published on February 25, 2011

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