Calcutta, Feb. 26: The Bengal CPM today said this was not the first time the state had been “deprived” in the rail budget, adding that Trinamul ministers in charge of the department, including Mamata Banerjee, had done the same.
“What deprivation are you talking about? This is not the first time Bengal has been deprived. Nothing concrete happened in the past three years for Bengal ever since Mamata Banerjee became railway minister,” CPM state secretariat member Mohammad Salim said at a news conference in Alimuddin Street today.
“She merely made promises. There was nothing on the ground. She gave false assurances about projects when she was railway minister,” Salim added.
He alleged that Mamata’s Trinamul successors in the railway ministry “made more such false promises”.
“All this was done to make her journey to Writers’ Buildings sure and certain,” Salim said.
Before the news conference, the CPM leader held a meeting with former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Alimuddin Street, a source said.
Salim said most of the 68 projects announced for Bengal by railway ministers from Trinamul — Mamata, Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy — were yet to be implemented.
“Look at these 68 projects. The majority of them haven’t seen the light of day. There was no techno-feasibility report on these projects. The Union finance minister’s approval wasn’t sought for many of these,” Salim said.
“The Planning Commission was also not consulted on many of those projects. That’s why, we feel, most of what Mamata had announced as railway minister was a hoax,’’ he added.
Asked if railway finances could improve following a fuel surcharge in today’s budget, Salim said an effort was being made to bring the ministry back on tracks after it was “derailed” by Mamata and her successors.
“When she was railway minister, operating losses were reported, deficits rose and the ministry was in the red,” the CPM leader said.