In the wake of the Odisha railway tragedy, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily on Tuesday said the clubbing of the railway budget with the Union budget in 2017 was a ”major blunder” of the NDA government and called for bringing back the practice of having separate budgets.
Taking a swipe at the government, Moily said they are talking of bullet trains when the basics have not been rectified nor sufficient modernisation and technology has been put in place.
”The clubbing of Railway Budget with the Union Budget has lost the focus on the railways. It is a major blunder committed by the NDA government. Mere focus on high-speed trains without taking into account safety and modernisation is a step in haste. It is necessary to go back to the Railway Budget,” the former Union minister said in a statement.
He also demanded that Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw should tender his resignation on moral grounds.
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Faster rail movement and vast network deserves sound operational ecosystem which can ensure efficiency and safety, and the government should focus on the improvement of infrastructure, he said.
”The railways have not been able to generate their share of safety funds. We need to diversify their revenue, increase budgetary allocation and ensure its proper and transparent utilisation,” he said.
The crash last Friday involving two passenger trains and a goods train killed 278 people and injured more than 1,100, while the movement of goods and passenger trains on the busy route was also disrupted.