Mamata fumes as Eastern Railways plans to stop eight trains owing to losses
The Chief Commercial Manager of Eastern Railways has written a letter to the West Bengal Chief Secretary Malay Kumar De, saying that services of eight mainline trains need to be terminated owing to the losses incurred.
Sources at Nabanna, the state secretariat said that the letter received on Friday said that trains on eight mainline routes including Namkhana-Baruipur, Kalyani Simanta-Sealdah, Burdwan-Katwa, Sonarpur-Canning and Hasnabad-Barasat would either need to be stopped or the state would have to bear half of the losses incurred.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has naturally reacted to it saying that it was high-handedness of the Centre. “How can this happen? How can they do this without even consulting the state government? These are socially viable projects. Railways have a social responsibility. They are acting at will. Bengal will not endure this deprivation without a protest,” said an angry Mamata at Nabanna on Friday.Pointing out that the railways had recently increased the train fares, she sought to know why these projects were being stopped.
Referring to the loss-sharing theory, she said that the Centre was already taking a lot of money in terms of taxes and cess. “Why are they asking for more money? Besides they are also taking away Rs 50,000 crore every year as repayment of loans taken by the previous government. The Centre has curtailed allocation for seveal welfare projects and has also completely stopped for some They are dictating terms by force,” she added.
Interestingly, most of these trains had been initiated by Mamata Banerjee when she was the Rail Minister.
Mamata in several occasions in the past has accused the Centre of conspiring against the state and curtailing funds. She has alleged that the Centre is violating the federal structure by curtailing funds. This latest decision from Eastern Railway is only likely to add fuel to Didi's allegations. Many experts believe that it is likely to snowball into a major political controversy in the coming days and other parties are also expected to react to Mamata's allegations.