New Delhi, Jan 1: Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday flagged off the new Balurghat-Sealdah Express and said that the fund allocation of Indian Railways in West Bengal had gone up to Rs 11,970 crore in the last nine years and over 61 projects were held up due to lack of support.
Addressing the gathering virtually from New Delhi after flagging the train off, the Railway Minister hailed the local BJP MP Sukanta Majumdar and said that he worked a lot to bring the train to his area.
Vaishnaw said that Majumdar shared most of the technical details with the Railways for the train and he fought for his area and for West Bengal.
He also said that Majumdar had been demanding a lot of projects for the Railways in West Bengal.
Taking a swipe at the previous governments for neglecting West Bengal, the railway minister said, "The allocation for railways in the state has been brought to a record level. From 2004 to 2014, West Bengal got average fund allocation of Rs 4,380 crore only. Only promises were made and dreams were sold to the people by the previous governments."
"(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has delivered. Now the fund allocation has gone up to Rs 11,970 crore for West Bengal," Vaishnaw said, adding that the amount has gone up by three times.
He said that 61 projects of 1,408 km have been held up in the state due to lack of support. He said that Railways are an important part of the development of eastern India.
"Today, Indian Railway wants to invest Rs 50,900 crore in West Bengal. It is possible only when the state government is ready. This can be possible if both (Centre and state governments) join hands. In West Bengal, 98 stations are being made world-class. This is a big number and Balurghat is one of them.
“In North Bengal, 26 stations were also included among the world-class stations. Massive electrification is going on in West Bengal," he said.
“Earlier only promises were made for the Kolkata Metro. Now, what didn’t happen in the last 40 years has been done in the last nine-and-a-half years by the Modi Government.
"About 27 km of Kolkata Metro was built in 40 years. And now 27 km has been built in the last nine and half years," he highlighted.
He also said that 406 flyovers and underpasses have been constructed, 119 lifts, 175 escalators, 182 foot over bridges have been constructed in the state.
The new train will connect 13189-13190 Balurghat-Sealdah Express every day. (IANS)