Railway Budget: BJP to organise protest march, dharna

via www.newindpress.com published on February 28, 2008

PALAKKAD: The BJP will organise a protest march and dharna to all the important railway stations in the Malabar area on March 5 to protest against neglecting Kerala in the Railway Budget, especially the Malabar area.

The Yuva Morcha also would conduct a state-wide campaign on the neglect of Kerala in the budget.

BJP state president P.K.Krishnadas told mediapersons here on Wednesday that though Kerala’s Railway Minister Vijayakumar had stated that Kerala was allotted Rsv 347.48 crone in the budget, a sum of Rsv 196.37 crone was meant to be spent in Tamil Nadu.

Thus, in effect Kerala would get only Rsv 151.11 crone in this budget. He said that Rsv 155 crone allotted for electrification and gauge conversion under the head of Kerala would go to Tamil Nadu.

Since the electrification of the Ernakulam- Thiruvananthapuram section was almost complete, the funds would be used upto Kanyakumari.

Similarly, even in the gauge conversion of the Palakkad- Pollachi section most of the areas laid in Tamil Nadu, he said.

He said the most important demand of Kerala was the sanctioning of a zone which had gone unheard. Even in the last budget, out of the funds earmarked for Kerala, the state had received only 21 percent while the balance was diverted for works in Tamil Nadu.

He said out of the five trains announced for Kerala, already two of them were running. The Shoranur-Nilambur passenger was already plying and therefore only the word ‘temporary’ would be removed.

Similarly, the Bangalore-Coimbatore Express was already running upto Ernakulam and that was also to be made ‘permanent’. In effect, Kerala has been allotted only three new trains.

Coach factory:

Krishnadas said that the government should make it clear whether the 1000 acres of land were acquired and handed over to the Railways.

He said in the past, there had been an experience of the factory being shifted after being announced.

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