Bengal gets record allocation of Rs 11,970 crore in Railway budget
Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishaw

Kolkata: West Bengal has got a record allocation of Rs 11,970 crore in the Railway budget for 2023-24, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishaw said on Friday.

He said that 93 stations will be redeveloped in the state and massive work will take place in boosting the railway infrastructure.

“West Bengal has got record allocation of Rs 11,970 crore, this kind of allocation for Bengal was never ever thought of,” he said.

He said that this was nearly three times the Railway budget allocations for the state which, he said, used to receive around Rs 4,380 crore annually during the 2009-2014 period.

“The Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) believes in Sab ka sath, sab ka vikas, sab ka viswas, sab ka prayas it means that when it comes to development, there is no differentiation between anybody,” he said.

Stating that the whole country has to be developed, Vaishnaw said that Modi’s focus is always on ‘Purvodaya’, the development of the east.

An Eastern Railway official said that the Kolkata-headquartered zonal railway has got a budget allocation of Rs 4,078.88 crore for 2023-24, compared to Rs 2,942.49 crore in 2022-23.

Among the major stations to be redeveloped or are undergoing such work are Howrah, Kolkata and Asansol, the official said.

The ongoing Metro Railway projects in West Bengal got a boost with a budgetary allocation of Rs 3,220.25 crore for 2023-24 against an allotment of Rs 1216.25 crore in 2022-23, an increase of 164.77 per cent, a Metro official said.

The Noapara-Barasat line got Rs 620 crore, while the Airport-Garia route was given Rs 1,200 crore, he said.

The highest allocation went to the partially running Joka-Esplanade route with Rs 1,350 crore, while the Baranagar-Barrackpore line received Rs 50 crore, the official said.

Apart from these, the East-West Metro (green line), being constructed by KMRCL connecting information technology hub Sector V in Salt Lake and Howrah Maidan, has been allocated Rs 1,000 crore for 2023-24, he said.

The East-West Metro is partially operational between Sector V and Sealdah.

Work is pending in the Sealdah-Esplanade section at Bowbazar area in central Kolkata, where construction activity was affected by land subsidence.

Construction work between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade has also been completed for the project, which has been delayed by the accidents at Bowbazar.

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