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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Former Railway Minister Ghani’s Malda Quite Unhappy with Proposed Rail-Budget

MALDA, 25 FEB: From Trinamul minister to businessmen and majority of the common people of Malda, the land of former Union railway minister late Ghani Khan Choudhury have expressed their strong discontent at today’s rail-budget claiming that the district has been grossly neglected in the budget.

It may be mentioned that citizens of Malda demanded a direct train between Malda town and New Delhi along with some other express trains to Chennai, Bangalore and Vizag. It was also expected that one more Malda – Sealdah express train would be introduced to reduce the pressure on Gour Express. Alternatively, it was also demanded by the Malda Merchant Chamber of Commerce (MMCC) that the number of compartments of popular Gour Express would be increased.

But in today’s budget speech Union railway minister Paban Bansal only announced that two trains between NJP and Howrah and Katihar and Howrah stations would be introduced which would ply via Malda. In addition the route of a couple trains towards Delhi has been extended. Mr Bansal, however, did not declare no more new train from or through Malda.

Strong reaction has come from tourism minister and English Bazaar Municipality (EBM) chairman Krishnendu Choudhury.

“Today’s rail-budget is quite frustrating for Malda as well as for the state. There are three Union ministers of state (MoS) from the state including one from Malda and one from North Dinajpur. Congress has two MPs from Malda. They must reply to the people for such an empty rail budget. Else the people would wrap their faces with black clothes,” Mr Choudhury said.

The president of MMCC Jayanta Kundu said, “We made several recommendations including Malda – Delhi direct train, plying of Rajdhani express through Malda at least once a week, introduction of some South India bound trains, increase in compartments of Gour Express etc before the rail-budget was placed. But to our utter dismay we have seen that we have got nothing but lollypops.”

Dr Partha Sarathi Roy, school teacher Aparajita Kundu, housewife Jharna Sarkar, advocate Indrajit Sinha, Prof Prodyot Ghosh and others also expressed their discontent about the share of Malda in this year’s proposed rail-budget.

District CPI-M secretary Ambar Mitra and BJP district general secretary Ajay Ganguly also said that they were unhappy with today’s rail-budget in which people’s aspirations have not been reflected.

However, South Malda Congress MP and Union health MoS AH Khan Choudhury (Dalu) and North Malda Congress MP could not be availed as their mobiles sounded switched off.

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