VADODARA: If there is one Railways budget which Barodians will always remember, it will be the one presented by Union minister of railways Mamata
Banerjee on Friday. Not for what the city got but for what it didn’t.
Thanks to Banerjee’s announcement of starting a non-stop train between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, it will be for the first time that a train will not have Vadodara as stoppage. Be it the high-profile trains like Rajdhani or Shatabdi or Garib Raths or, there is not a single train (around 180 trains pass through Vadodara) that passes through Vadodara railway station and does not have a halt here.
Vadodara railway station’s name has neither appeared even in the list of 50 stations, which Banerjee announced will be developed as world-class stations with international level facilities, nor has the city’s station got its name in the list of 309 railway stations that have been identified to be developed as model stations.
The only news for Barodians is that the Indian Railways has listed Vadodara in the list of 50 railway stations where multi-functional complexes (MFCs) will come up. The Railways budget mentions that MFCs will come up in station premises for providing rail users with facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, telephone booths, medical and variety stores, budget hotels, underground parking among others. It has been proposed that MFCs will be developed this year, responsibility of which is entrusted to IRCON and Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
The budget mentions that gauge conversion of Dabhoi-Chhota Udepur of Pratapnagar-Chhota Udepur line will be completed in this financial year, but there is no mention of the gauge conversion being extended up to Dhar-Indore line.
Railway officials here, however, add that the non-stop Ahmedabad-Mumbai train will indirectly help Barodians as much of the passenger traffic that otherwise travels in Karnavati Express or Shatabdi Express will get diverted.