ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Railways : Twisted Tracks

When the arithmetic is all done and the rhetoric has worn out, what emerges is an annual plan for the railways, not directed at growth but increasing distress. All the current signals are that railway minister Mamata Banerjee’s attempts to garner popular support through gimmickry is likely to boomerang. She has over the last two years constructed tracks, which will lead the railways to increasing disarray and oblivion. Even the moderately budget-literate members of her constituencies – the ordinary Indian who is being provided with “travel opportunity” at “affordable rates” and the housewives whose budget has been spared any increase due to hike in freight charges on salt, grains and pulses, sugar, fruits and vegetables, urea, edible oil, kerosene and LPG – will realise that running an enterprise like the railways requires an adequate income for overall, long-term development. Banerjee’s ‘housewife’ will know that if one is not to become dependent on the local moneylender, resources have to be generated in-house no matter how difficult that may sound. Such wisdom has not come the way of the railway minister.

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