Union Budget 2023: BRS seeks funds for railway projects in Telangana
While highlighting the discrimination being meted out to the State, Rama Rao urged the Union railway minister to ensure adequate budgetary allocations to railway projects in the State.
Published: 31st January 2023 07:35 AM | Last Updated: 31st January 2023 07:35 AM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: It & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao on Monday accused the Centre of ignoring the Telangana government’s repeated pleas, seeking funds for several important ongoing and proposed projects in the State. In an open letter to Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the BRS minister said that the State has been getting a raw deal in every Budget presented by the NDA government and the Centre’s discrimination against Telangana is more blatant and visible in the railway sector.
While highlighting the discrimination being meted out to the State, Rama Rao urged the Union railway minister to ensure adequate budgetary allocations to railway projects in the State. “The Thirteenth Schedule of AP State Reorganisation Act clearly states that ‘The Indian Railways shall, within six months from the appointed day, examine the feasibility of establishing a Rail Coach Factory in the successor State of Telangana and improve rail connectivity in the State and take expeditious decision thereon’. However, despite repeated appeals from the State government, the Union Government has neither initiated any measure to establish a Rail Coach Factory in Kazipet nor granted any new major infrastructure project to improve rail connectivity in the State,” he said in his letter.
He said that the State is a crucial link between North and South India, and is home to most important Railway junctions -- Secunderabad and Kazipet -- in the country. Being a landlocked State, Telangana is heavily dependent on Railway infrastructure for transportation of goods and passengers.
“It is appalling to note that in the past eight years, just a little over 100 km of railway track has been laid in Telangana. The State has a paltry three per cent of the total railway lines in our country, out of which about 57 per cent are single lanes. This lack of critical infra is depriving Telangana of any new trains. It is disheartening to note that in the past eight years, the South Central Railway has launched only one new train from the capital city -- Lingampally-Vijayawada Intercity Express,” he adeed.
He pointed out that the current NDA government has not grounded a single new railway line in Telangana in the past eight years. Even the progress of joint venture railway projects taken up with the State government is also painfully slow. While the Union Government has spent just Rs 1,100 crore on the ongoing railway projects in the State, the State government has spent Rs 1,904 crore as its share, he said.
This clearly shows the lack of interest of the Union Government in developing railway infrastructure in Telangana and several projects, which were cleared by earlier governments, were shelved by the current government, he said, adding that many other projects for which survey reports are submitted long ago have also not moved an inch.