Budget may give more sops to poll-bound States

Published: 26th February 2013 07:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2013 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

Keeping his eye firmly on the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal is expected to keep the aam aadmi in focus in his budget speech on Tuesday.

It will not just come as sops in terms of concessional travel for vulnerable groups, but is likely to translate into new trains to poll-bound states.

However, unlike previous rail ministers, who primarily catered to their own states, these will be evenly distributed. Also expected are more double-decker coaches, high-speed trains and faster accident relief/rescue trains.

Bansal’s stint as a former parliamentary affairs minister would come handy in balancing the needs of all political constituencies. However, Bansal, a three time MP, is likely to gift his home state Punjab and constituency Chandigarh not only more trains but also a new projects aimed at generating employment.

Given that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and deputy chairman of the planning commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia would have guided the rail minister, announcements on new rail lines, links and projects for North East India and Himalayan region could be made for strategic reasons.

Bansal may have got less than four months to understand the new ministry, but the script has already been written for him. A stampede ahead of his budget, massive outrage over women’s safety and accidents at unmanned crossings could see Bansal devoting a significant part of his speech to addressing safety needs.

As energy continues to be of critical importance, Bansal could announce more projects likes solar panels at major stations and provision of roof top solar panels on passenger coaches running in close circuits.

One of the worrying features in the railways’ health has been pending projects.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp