Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jul 30, 2002
Logistics - Railways
Govt sticks to E. Railway split
NEW DELHI, July 29
THE BJP-led Government has decided to stick to the decision to bifurcate the Eastern Railway zone on grounds of merit. The Union Cabinet today rejected the demand made by the Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee, to reverse the move, saying that it was only implementing the decision taken in 1996 by the then United Front Government.
The Union Cabinet, which met here to discuss the issue, was unanimous that there was no need to review the old Cabinet decision. It has also decided to give an option (a life-time one) to all railway staff, on an all-India basis, to join the new zones.
Briefing newspersons here, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, said that the creation of new zones would improve operational and administrative efficiency of the Indian Railways.
The Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, had, on June 14 this year, announced the creation of two new railway zones -- East Central Railways based at Hajipur (Bihar) and North Western Railways in Jaipur (Rajasthan).
These zones have been carved out of the Eastern Railways (headquartered at Kolkata) and the Western Railways (headquartered at Mumbai) respectively and will become operational from October 1, this year.
The decision to bifurcate the Eastern Railway zone, however, met with stiff opposition from the entire political leadership of West Bengal, considering that it involved the hiving off of two money-spinning divisions - Dhanbad and Mughalsarai - to the new East-Central Railways. But on the other hand, the bifurcation was welcomed by leaders in Bihar, again cutting across party lines.
Initial protests came from the Ms Banerjee who even went to the extent of demanding the resignation of the Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, who, in turn, hails from Bihar. The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mr Buddadeb Bhattacharya, too, dissapproved the move, saying it would impair operational efficiencies of the Eastern Railways.
This was, however, contested by Mr Nitish Kumar who held that the revised jurisdictions would provide smoother traffic movement, better control and improve the efficiency of the system.
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
Stories in this Section
The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |
Copyright © 2002, The
Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of
this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of
The Hindu Business Line