Secondly, everybody has repeatedly said about it and we have been craving for a Zone for Kerala. I am told that Kerala is the only State where the Railway Zone is not in existence. I do not know as to what is the difficulty in having that. We should have a Zone for Kerala. The Chief Engineer's Office is not in Kerala. Anybody whether he is a contractor or a common man, for any work, he has to travel to Chennai to meet the Chief Engineer. I do not understand as to why the Chief Engineer's Office cannot be provided in Kerala. I am told that the Railways, once upon a time, declared that the Chief Engineer's Office would be stationed there but the person who was posted at that time could not leave Chennai because he was not interested. So, the post itself was shifted to Chennai. My request to the Railway Authorities today is to provide at least the Chief Engineer's Office for Kerala. We have also been craving and demanding for a Zonal Office but nobody is heeding to it. The same is the case with the Chief Engineer's Office also.

Now, I come to cleaning of the railway coaches. Partially it may be our defect also. The supervision work of cleaning of the railway coaches is so bad that most of the coaches, which are used on the previous day, are running on the next day. So, contractors can be employed for cleaning of the railway roaches and it has to be supervised by the Railways.

Another thing which has been mentioned here about the railway coaches is that they are all in a dilapidated condition. The Coach Factory supplies new coaches only to North India. When it comes to South from the North India, most of the seats will not be there. The condition of the toilets is absolutely bad. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI: You are getting at least something. East is not getting anything. It is zero. North and South are getting it. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI A.C. JOS: We are not getting anything in the South. So, at least for the sake of it, to show that new coaches are built in India, and there are new coaches available with the Railways, you send some new coaches to Kerala. The people of Kerala have not seen a new coach till date. So, that can be given. My friend has mentioned about a train from Gorakhpur up to Cochin which was declared in the Budget. That has not been implemented. So, I would request you, Madam, that it should be implemented, as it is. Thank you.

... (Interruptions)

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: That is why, you have not included Lakshadweep.

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SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA (KOLAR): Hon. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, I will not take more time. Since our people have asked me to speak in Kannada, I will speak in Kannada.

* Mr Deputy Speaker Sir, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to speak on the supplementary demands for grants pertaining to Railway Ministry, 1999-2000.

First of all I would like to congratulate the Hon. Minister of Railways, Miss Mamata Banerjee for her hard work and speedy decisions. The Government of India has a revolutionary Railway Minister. I wish her and Shri Bangaru Laxman, the Hon'ble Minister of State for Railways, all the best in their future endeavours.

HON. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please stick to your constituency only.

SHRI K.H. MUNIYAPPA: O.K. Sir. Sir, the routes of Kurla Express and Island Express have been changed two years ago. I have sent many representations to the Railway Ministry. But so far no action has been taken by the Ministry. Now, in the new route Bangarpet has been avoided. This is a serious lapse on the part of the Railways. Bangarpet is a very large railway junction and it is a very important centre in the State of Karnataka. Employees of BGML, BEL, businessmen, traders and many farmers are mainly depending upon these two trains. They have to reach many important centres like Kanyakumari, Trivandrum, Cochin, etc. in Kerala State and Tamil Nadu. Lalbagh Express was stopped at Kuppam at the request of Shri Chandrababu Naidu, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. It is O.K. But it should stop at Bangarpet also as many people are very eager to utilise the facility of this train.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

* Translation of speech originally delivered in

Tamil.

It is unfortunate that these trains are not touching this railway junction despite our repeated requests. I therefore urge upon Mamatajee to change the route of these two trains without any further loss of time. The

original route of Island Express and Kurla Express should be retained.

Sir, Rajdhani Express runs only thrice a week between Bangalore and New Delhi. There is a long pending demand from the people of Karnataka to make this rail to run all the 7 days of a week. It must be made a daily train with immediate effect.

Yelahanka-Bangarpet narrow gauge railway line is almost 100 years old. Shri Jaffer Sharief, the then Railway Minister gave clearance for gauge conversion in the year 1994-95. The distance is only 147 kms. Half of the work has already been completed. About 75 crores of rupees have been spent already. This investment will go waste if you do not complete this gauge conversion work.

Two Governments have come and gone but unfortunately this work has not been completed till today. I have raised this issue in this august House at least half a dozen times. This route links south with north and eastern parts of our country. About 1/3 of Karnataka's mango production is from Kolar district. Other fruits, vegetables like potato, tomato, etc., have to go to different places like Nagpur, Tirupati, Mumbai, Chennai, Assam, Delhi, etc. In fact some fruits and vegetables are to be exported to countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. All these activities will get great impetus if this gauge conversion work is completed at the earliest.

I humbly request the Hon. Minister to allocate more funds for Bangarpet-Yelahanka conversion work, doubling of railway line between Bangalore and Jolarpet.

In my constituency there is a 50 year old dilapidated Pudkula railway station and it should be reopened immediately. There is urgent need to set up a couple of railway level gates in my constituency.

Sir, I thank you for allowing me to speak and with these words, I conclude my speech.

SHRI BIKRAM KESHARI DEO (KALAHANDI): Mr. Deputy-Speaker, Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak.

Sir, I would like to apologize that when my name was called, I was not here because I was not in my seat, I had to go out.

Sir, I whole-heartedly support the Supplementary Demands for Grants which have been placed by the hon. Minister, Mamata Banerjee. Besides, I come from an area where the railways has not seen the light of the day. I come from KVK District of Orissa which is one of the most backward districts of the country and to go and see a railway engine, a man has to travel nearly 400 kilometres.

Sir, hundred years have passed since the inception of the railways and benefits of the railways have not been enjoyed by the people of Orissa.

Kumari Mamata Banerjee comes from the neighbouring State of West Bengal and she clearly knows that Orissa has been completely neglected in the field of railways. If you see the railway map of Orissa today, you will see that the Central Orissa is completely devoid of any railway network. Therefore, I hope that under her ministership when the main budget is brought before this House, adequate funds will be provided for the same. Also, I would like to thank the previous Railway Minister, Shri Nitish Kumar, who had given an allocation to the tune of Rs.200 and odd crores to Orissa in the Twelfth Lok Sabha, which Orissa had never got previously.

Secondly, I would like to stress upon the East Coast Zone Railway. This Zone was created but till today the control of Garden Reach still persists and powers are not given completely to the newly created East Coast Zone Railway in Orissa. Today, you will see that the Divisions which are under the East Coast Zone Railway are the Khurda Division, the Waltair Division and the Sambalpur Division. The Waltair Division does not want to join the East Coast Railway Zone. They want to be with the South-Central Railway. Therefore, a new Division should be created by taking the area of Raigara, which is on the border of the Waltair Division. Then only this Zone can be activated. Today, the Railways land between Raigara, Sambalpur and Raipur virtually has becomes no man's land. There are no officers posted. All the works on that railway line are pending and the progress of the doubling work and various other activities in these three Divisions is very slow.

I know, Sir, that you will ask me to hurry up, but it is very difficult to do so. If you give me another five minutes, I shall be able to highlight the problems of my constituency.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Shri Deo, these are Supplementary Demands. Let us wait for her full budget. Now you just point out some of the problems of your constituency and conclude.

SHRI BIKRAM KESHARI DEO : Sir, one of the main problems which are troubling my constituency is with regard to the Samata Express. It is running only thrice a week. I would like the hon. Minister to make it daily.

Then, there is a demand for a road-cum-rail bridge.

THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS AND MINISTER OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN): Samata Express can be given by the Minister from the Samata Party!...(Interruptions)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSI (RAIGANJ): Do you want the Samata Express to become J.D. Express!

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Anyway, I am interested that you conclude now.

SHRI BIKRAM KESHARI DEO : Therefore, Sir, the bridge between Lanjigadh Road and Titlagarh, which is part of doubling project Rs.113 crore are being spent, may be made into a rail-cum-road bridge so that people between Kesinga Town and Titlagarh can commute and it can develop as a good industrial centre.

Besides, it has been seen that the Government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has taken all steps to improve the KBK districts, which are the most backward districts. We see various programmes going on there but the Railway Department's programme in this area is not felt. The demand for this Lanjigadh to Junagarh railway line is still pending and we require adequate funds for that. It is learnt that about Rs.10 crore had been sanctioned last time, but I am very sorry to say that the Sambalpur Division is completely inactive in executing this project. The money is lying there, the land has been acquired we have given 665 acres of land - but no progress is being made. Therefore, I request the hon. Minister to kindly take a note of it so that this work can be progressed.

Besides, a further survey from Junagarh to K.K. line is very important. The survey work for this project was started in 1965. So, I request the hon. Minister to kindly provide adequate funds for the same because if this railway line is developed, it will open up a vast expanse of mining area, which is the second largest Bauxite deposit of the world which is one of the second largest bauxite deposits area in the world. This bauxite zone can be opened up if this railway line is joined with the K.K. line which comes from Bailadila to Visakhapatnam. Therefore, this is a very vital link, and will boost the economy of the area.

If this link is provided, it will also shorten the distance between the South and the East by nearly 450 kilometres and thereby helping the Railways and the country as a whole in materials and men movement.

Lastly I would like to say that there is a train, Hirakud Express, running from Bhubaneshwar to Delhi. I request that this train should run from Bhubaneshwar - Berhampore - Waltair - Vizag - Keisinga and then to Delhi so that the Koraput-Bolangir-Kalahandi (K.B.K.) area can be connected properly with Delhi and other industrial towns of the country.

I would like to say a few words about smuggling of Forest products because of which the environment is also completely damaged. The Railway Protection Force between Titlagarh and Sambhalpur and Khurda divisions is very lax. The entire forest of Kalahandi has been completely stripped. Every day the passenger trains are running as goods trains for carrying the firewood and timber, thereby stripping the jungles. Some action should be taken by the Railways to stop this. I know that it does not come within the ambit of the Railway Protection Force and it is a State subject. The R.P.F. Act should be reviewed and should be amended to benefit and save the environment.

Lastly I would like to thank the hon. Minister for helping the victims of the super cyclone that devastated Orissa recently. The mishap has badly affected and devastated Orissa. The services provided by the Railways to help the people of Orissa have been great and I thank the hon. Minister Kumari Mamata Banerjee and both the Ministers of State who have taken up the relief work on a war-footing to save the people of Orissa.

With these few words I conclude and thank the hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me the opportunity.

SHRI LAKSHMAN SETH (TAMLUK): Sir, I am thankful to you for giving me the opportunity. The time is short.

MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER : Very short.

SHRI LAKSHMAN SETH : I am pinpointing to some important issues which deserve immediate attention of our hon. Minister.

You know that thousands and thousands of hawkers are running their livelihood in the trains, stations and also on platforms. They are being seriously beaten up by the Railway police. Serious harassment is inflicted on them. There are also severe atrocities committed on the hawkers. I would request the hon. Minister to stop these atrocities. I also request the hon. Minister to draw a package of rehabilitation for them because they are maintaining their livelihood by this way. That is why I would request the hon. Minister to look into this matter.

Secondly, there are many unemployed youths running their business in the land of the Railways, though unauthorisedly. However, I would request the hon. Minister to develop commercial complexes on this land so that they can manage their livelihood by doing this business.

Thirdly, there are millions of contract-labourers who are working in the job of perennial nature. I would request the hon. Minister to give priority to them in the matter of recruitment. When new vacancies arise, they should be given priority. I am not saying that all should be absorbed. But when vacancies arise, they should be given priority in the matter of recruitment because they are working with scanty pittance and they are not given actual wages and other benefits. They are working years after years. It is a very important issue. I am pressing hard with the hon. Minister, through you, on this issue.

Regarding all other important issues, the South-Eastern Railway is getting 60 per cent of its revenue from Haldia which is one of the important industrial centres of our country. But there is only a single line. There is heavy traffic and the traffic is going up. Immediate doubling of this railway line is necessary.

Hon. Minister has introduced one train which is an Intercity Express between Shalimar and Haldia. Because of the single line, the speed of this train is not upto the mark and it will not be viable. Not only that but the revenue will increase much more if this line is doubled. Therefore, I would request the hon. Minister to take up the doubling of the line between Panskura and Haldia to cater to the heavy traffic needs. It will give more revenue to the South-Eastern Railway.

I am thankful and convey my salutation to the hon. Minister for taking up the scheme of upgradation and taking up model stations. Mechada is a very important station. So many express trains run through this station. It is also located in close proximity to Haldia which has emerged as one of the important hub centres in the area.


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