Eastern Railway has the most wide area of operation with its network in Bengal and in neighbouring states of Jharkhand and Bihar: Ghanshyam
Kolkata: The total outlay for various railway projects in West Bengal for the financial year 2017-18 has gone up by Rs 2,516 crore as compared to 2015-16. The 2017-18 outlay for West Bengal is Rs 6,336 crore as compared to Rs 3,820 crore in the previous year a rise by nearly 70 per cent.
The budget allocation covers all the four railways that operate in Bengal — the Eastern Railway, the South Eastern Railways, the North Frontier Railway and the Metro Railway. The total outlay for projects in the state in the year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 were Rs 1604 crore, Rs 2907 crore and Rs 3615 crore respectively. The increase in outlay in comparison to 2013-14 has been 295 per cent. “The Eastern Railway has the most wide area of operation with its network in Bengal as well as in neighbouring states of Jharkhand and Bihar. The outlay in all the three states for railway projects have seen a reasonable rise. We hope to complete the various projects that has been lined up without any hassle,” Eastern Railway general manager Ghanshyam Singh said.
Talking about ER’s future plans Mr. Singh said that they have already lit up 150 major stations across the state including Howrah and Sealdah with LED in a bid to reduce carbon footprint. “We have plans to complete 100 per cent LED electrification by the next financial year,” a top official said.
With the central government giving a lot of emphasis on the aspect of passenger safety, the ER will take major strides in this direction. “Not a single unamnned level crossing exists in the ER’s jurisdictional area at present,” Mr Singh claimed. adding that ER will take expert opinion from countries like Korea, Japan, Italy and some others tom ensure that passengers have safety at the highest level. When asked about the exact allocation for the projects at hand, Mr. Singh said, “We will have the details by Friday.”
In the wake of the special emphasis on rail safety in the budget, a metro railway spokesperson said that they have already undertaken a lot of measures. A seminar on safety was organised at Metro Rail Bhavan on January 15 where emphasis was given on proper functioning of railway points & crossings, maintenance of track beds & track fittings, prevention of fire/smoke and checking of electrical equipment. “As a pilot initiative we have introduced emergency staircases/footsteps in four coaches of an existing AC Metro rake for quick evacuation of passengers during emergency,” the official added.