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Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project aimed at reaping benefit in Guj Assy poll: Cong

Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project aimed at reaping benefit in Guj Assy poll: Cong

New Delhi, Sep 14 (UNI) Charging Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the various developmental projects that were initiated during the previous UPA regime for electoral benefit, the Congress today said that laying of the foundation stone of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project was an attempt to derive political benefit in the forthcoming assembly elections in Gujarat. Addressing a press conference here, senior Congress leader and leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and AICC spokesperson RPN Singh said,'the previous UPA Government had entrusted the task of giving feasibility report for this project, to Japan in December 2013. The report for beginning work on this project was submitted in August 2015. However, PM Modi deliberately kept it hanging for two years to reap electoral benefits in the Gujarat Assembly election. To get electoral benefit from the project, Mr Modi organised a grand ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the bullet train project in Ahmedabad and also held a road show with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.' Mr Kharge said that to get electoral benefit from the project in the Gujarat Assembly elections, 12 stations have been provided between Ahmedabad and Mumbai So, there is a station for the bullet train in cities with barely a population of 36000. 'It is beyond one's understanding as to how a bullet train stopping at 12 stations will be able to maintain a high speed. This shows that 12 stations for the high speed bullet train is part of Modi Government's electoral strategy for the Gujarat elections,' he said. Speaking on the issue, Mr RPN Singh said, 'it is a matter of deep concern that while the Prime Minister, once again adopted a UPA project, it took him three and a half years to come to this stage of laying a foundation stone. Only so that it is timed with the Gujarat elections." "We have witnessed in the past three and a half years , how the Prime Minister uses big ticket projects, primarily for elections and pushing projects just before the elections. Announcement of Packages and such Projects have been a set pattern before every state election,' he added. Mr Kharge said that while the NDA Government was focussing on this big ticket project, it had completely abdicated its responsibility towards safety of crores of rail passengers who travel daily on trains. 'Mr Modi who laid the foundation of the bullet train project, should also be concerned about the safety of the common man who travels by trains. Last year, the highest number of rail accidents in the world occurred in India and this year the trend is continuing. The government's attention is not on rail security," Mr Kharge said. The Government has completely abdicated its responsibility towards safety of crores of rail passengers who travel daily on trains. As per a report of the Kakodkar Committee a total financial investment on Railway Safety to the tune of Rs 1,00,000-crore is required over a five year period to ensure safety of the railways network. However, the Modi Government has given only Rupees five thousand crores for this purpose. 1.42-lakh (posts for safety staff remain unfilled across India, which, experts say, is a major concern and clear case of official apathy. Total number of vacancies in the Safety Categories including Group C & Group D (Front Line Categories) is 1,25,754,' Mr Kharge said. UNI AR SNU 1629

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