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SHRI K.P. SINGH DEO (DHENKANAL): Sir, first of all, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister for the first Demands in this Parliament. Secondly, I would like to compliment her through this debate on Supplementary Demands because she has shown concern for the safety and security of the passengers, the travelling public, system improvement, amenities and the services. Sir, I would also like to compliment her for the concern she has shown to the cyclone-affected area of Orissa where 10 stations, all falling in the cyclone-affected belt, are being taken up for development into model stations, including Dhenkanal which is my home-town. I am extremely grateful for that. Then, she has also tried to do rehabilitation of these cyclone-affected assets and I give her full marks for that. I would like to compliment the Railways in the cyclone-affected area. They did a magnificent job by moving 18,000 tonnes of relief materials. How did they move it? They moved it by a new line which was the Cuttack-Sambalpur railway line because that was the only line which was operational as the Calcutta-Howrah-Madras railway line was breached near Soro. In the last Budget, Shri Nitish Kumar, your distinguished predecessor, had announced that the Hirakud Express which goes up from Nizamuddin to Sambalpur would be extended to Cuttack and Bhubaneshwar via Angul and Dhenkanal. Although for eight months, it has been in the time-table, the train has not been extended. I hope the hon. Minister will see to it that it is extended and it should be a daily one. At the moment, it is thrice a week to Sambalpur.

Sir, nine State Governments have adopted nine districts which are the worst affected districts in the entire coastal belt of Orissa due to this super cyclone which is a national calamity but we have not been able to call it a national calamity. But there are two districts which have been left out. One is Angul and another is Dhenkanal. Since Shri Nitish Kumar who is heading another Ministry has asked his Public Sector Undertakings to adopt certain areas, and Shri George Fernandes, the Defence Minister, has also asked the Defence PSUs to adopt certain areas, the Railways being the largest Public Sector in the world, could very kindly adopt these 15 or 16 Panchayats of Angul and Dhenkanal districts which are bordering the old Cuttack district, in which case the psyche, the sentiment of the people in rebuilding and reconstruction does not pose a problem.

When we were discussing the issue of cyclone, I had occasion to mention here that during the 1967 cyclone which was one of the very severe cyclones, hon. Shri Surendra Nath Diwedi and my senior colleague, Shri P.K. Deo, at that time had demanded the Cuttack-Paradip rail link which would give gainful employment to the affected areas. And, that is how, the Cuttack-Paradip rail link came up. So, I had suggested Angul to Paradip railway line via Budhapark, Kamakhya Nagar, Bhuban, Sukinda Road which earns the highest Internal Rate of Revenue (IRR) of the Railways in the whole world, coming to 29.83 per cent.

In fact, the former Minister of Railways, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan has laid the foundation stone. The preliminary survey is over, but while the final location survey is going on, there was no budgetary allocation last year. So, when the budgetary allocations are made during the Railway Budget in the month of February, I will request the hon. Minister to consider this request.

Sir, I have one more point and that is about the Angul-Gopalpur line. Gopalpur is a port which has been damaged in the cyclone. So, if Angul-Paradip line as well as Angul-Gopalpur line via Hindol-Narsinghpur is taken up, then gainful employment plus the rehabilitation of the cyclone affected people can take place.

Sir, with these few words, I thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to speak.

SHRI CHADA SURESH REDDY (HANAMKONDA): Mr. Chairman, Sir, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

I appeal to the hon. Minister of Railways kindly to take personal interest and pass orders to the General Manager, South-Central Railway, to take interest in getting the new lines in backward Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh cleared and executed as early as possible. Incidentally, the Chief Administrative Officer, who is next to the General Manager, South-Central Railway has not been given any power to execute any job on behalf of South-Central Railway. Then, what is the use of posting such an officer there?

I would, therefore, appeal that a person with clean record may be posted as Chief Administrative Officer and powers given to him to execute minor jobs for new railway lines/new railway projects in the backward region of Telengana so that the region is developed and saved from the clutches of naxalites who are active in that region because of lack of communication and railway facilities.

Sir, I am sorry to point out that in view of vigilance interference, no tangible progress has been made in the works undertaken by South-Central Railway during the last two years. The sanctioned allocation of the fund of almost Rs. 200 crore in 1998-99 and Rs. 100 crore in 1999-2000 lapsed as it could not be utilised on account of non-finalisation due to various reasonsprimarily interference of the auditors of the vigilance department. The projects suffered in this regard are Peddapalli-Karimnagar, Muniradabad new line, Muniradabad-Mehboob Nagar, Macherla-Nalgonda and Mudikhed-Adilabad sections. These works are all interrupted in phases.

However, I am grateful to the hon. Minister of Railways for taking interest in the railway work of South-Central Railways. She has already agreed to a number of our proposals. We would be extremely grateful if she takes up work of the development of Telangana railway projects at a sputnik speed so that the region is saved from the clutches of the naxalite movement.

SHRI AMAR ROY PRADHAN (COOCHBEHAR): Sir, this is a Supplementary Budget, yet I am lending my full support to the Supplementary Demands for Grants with the hope that ultimately the hon. Minister of Railways will do good to the North Bengal and the North-Eastern Region in her regular Budget when it comes up in the month of February.

Sir, in support of this Budget, definitely at page 14, I welcome the decision for safety as well as security of rail passengers.

As far as item number two, namely, New JalpaiguriBongaigaon-Guwahati-Mobile communication, Northeast Frontier Railway is concerned, these facilities should be extended up to Barsoi.

We have got the experience of Gaisal. Between Jalpaiguri and Barsoi, there is the Kishanganj-Gaisal sector. So, I think it should be done.

Sir, we all should be happy that according to the list of heritage items that have been announced by the UNO and the UNESCO, in India, there are only nine items which are the heritage items and the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is one of them. We all should be proud of that. But this Railway is in a very dilapidated condition. In this Supplementary Budget, there are about 48 railway stations which are proposed to be upgraded as model stations. I have no grievance that there is not a single station from West Bengal, but at this juncture, when the Darjeeling railway line has been announced as the heritage item, the Darjeeling railway station should also be taken up in this year. This is my second request to the hon. Railway Minister.

Now let me come to the other points. There is a long-standing demand for a new railway line from New Maynaguri to Jogigopa via Changrabandha, Cooch Behar, Boxirhat, Dhubri, Bilasipara and then to Jogigopa because of the fact that this part is the most neglected one and in this area there are only two railway link lines. One is metre-gauge and the other is broad-gauge. Even these also have not been doubled. It is a fact that there is not a single double line, there is no electrification, nothing of the sort. It is the most neglected railway line on the railway map of India. But one thing the hon. Minister knows that one has to cross this North Bengal island, otherwise one cannot go to the North-Eastern region. When it is so, then why are the Railways not giving it adequate importance? The North-Eastern region cannot be improved without improving the condition of the railways in North Bengal. So, at this stage, this is my request that another railway line should be provided in this region. For this, the line survey has already been completed. Now it is for the Railway Minister to do it because it will be a third railway line. We are not asking for doubling the line or for electrification. Just to save the North-Eastern region, we would like to place before you this demand of the local people.

My next demand is that there should be a stoppage of the Rajdhani Express and the Saraighat Express at New Cooch Behar. These are the only two trains which are moving as superfast trains in that region. Dr. Sengupta is here. He was once the D.M. of Cooch Behar. He knows what is the importance of Cooch Behar. But there is no stoppage of these two superfast trains at Cooch Behar. So, I request you to provide for the stoppage of these two trains at New Cooch Behar.

There should be a shuttle train between New Jalpaiguri and New Cooch Behar at least twice in a day.

The North Bengal Express is running three days a week. It should be run daily.

I hope, in the next Railway Budget, the North Bengal and the North-Eastern region, which are the most neglected and backward regions, will get priority. With these words, I thank you, Sir.

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SHRI SHRINIWAS PATIL (KARAD): Sir, I appreciate the gesture of the hon. Chairman for giving me the opportunity to speak. I would draw kind attention of hon. Railway Minister to some of the problems. I will not take much time of the august House. I come from Karad which is near Pune. We are hearing for the last so many years that Pune-Miraj section of the South-Central Railway headquarters will be detached from Hubli and it will come under Pune only. But in the last so many years, there has been no progress. As such, we are waiting for the movement that it is detached from Hubli and comes under Pune.

My second request would be that Pune, Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli districts are the centres of cooperative movement. There are so many sugar factories. Floriculture, horticulture, milk and spinning mills are there in much more numbers and as such, there is too much of traffic--human as well as goods. At Koyna, there is a centre for hydro-electricity generation which provides electricity to the whole of Maharashtra. Therefore, I seek the kind attention of the Railway Minister to have Pune-Miraj-Kolhapur broad-gauge line electrified so that there is speedy traffic. I am sure that it will be commercially viable also if a study is done by the experts. I am sure that Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Pune districts will definitely be benefitted in having this project electrified.

As on today there is a one computerised reservation centre at Miraj and one at Pune people, especially the people of Satara and Karad have to go about 60 kilometres in South or about 80 kilometres in North to have computerised reservation. So, I seek the kind attention of the authorities over there to start at Karad and Satara computerised reservation centres. The second platform at Karad is very much needed because there are about 30 sugar factories nearby Karad, but there is only one platform and that is too low in height. So, I would request the kind attention of the authorities, specially the construction authorities in the Railways, to increase the height of the


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