As reported, it was after seventeen years that a Congressman presented The Indian Railway budget yesterday. It amazed me for few things in it. I wondered why the railway minister must read the whole budget in detail that went on for 75minutes.The poor minister was failing to pronounce even the name of the places and stations. However, to impress upon the members he integrated in it poetic flourishes:
“While I have a feeling of a colossus today, it is only ephemeral and is
instantaneously overtaken by a sense of humility. Democracy gives
wings to the wingless, cautioning us all the while, that howsoever high
or wide our flight may be, we must remain connected to the ground.”
“When it was snowing heavily in Kashmir valley, and suspension of road and air services had brought life to a grinding halt. Photographs in Newspapers showing a train covered with snow emerging from a similar white background, carrying passengers travelling over the recently commissioned Qazigund -Baramulla section instilled in me a sense of immense pride.I recall here the inspirational words of Christine Weatherly”:
When you travel on the railway,
And the line goes up a hill,
Just listen to the engine
As it pulls you with a will.
Though it goes very slowly
It sings this little song
“I think I can, I think I can,”
And so it goes along.
I do believe that one day Railways shall find ways to contribute to its infrastructural projects.”
A bird sitting on a tree has no fear of falling, not because of the strength of the
branch but because of faith in its own wings.
Earlier I had cited Christine Weatherly. I turn to her again.
But later on the Journey….
….the engine’s singing still.
If you listen very quietly
You will hear this little song,
“I thought I could, … I could!”
And so it speeds along.
I was happy and then surprised that even after an estimated loss of Rs 24,600 crore in 2012-13, the minister proposed to set up a number of new manufacturing/maintenance facilities:
i. a new Forged Wheel Factory at Rae Bareli for which an MoU has
been signed with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL);
ii. a Greenfield Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU)
manufacturing facility at Bhilwara, Rajasthan in collaboration
with state government and Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited
iii. a coach manufacturing unit in Sonepat district, Haryana in
collaboration with the state government;
iv. midlife rehabilitation (MLR) Workshop at Kurnool, Andhra
Pradesh in collaboration with the state government;
v. conversion of Bikaner and Pratapgarh workshops to undertake
POH of BG wagons;
vi. a workshop for repair and rehabilitation of motorised bogies at
Misrod, Madhya Pradesh;
vii. a new wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi district,
viii. a modern signalling equipment facility at Chandigarh through
Interestingly, the budget doesn’t mention of all the projects that were announced by previous railway ministers over the years and their status. I don’t know what happened to two factories that Lalu Yadav proposed to be set up in Bihar. What happened to the projects of worldclass railway stations that were promised? Is New Delhi Railway Station now world class?