DNA | Last Modified - Jan 31, 2012, 05:08 AM IST
Jaipur: The next rail budget is a month away, but various announcements made in the previous budget for Rajasthan still remain a pipe dream. Only three of the 14 trains announced in 2011-12 rail budget by the then railway minister Mamata Banerjee connecting Rajasthan with other parts of the country have started operations till date.
With the model code of conduct in force due to the ongoing elections in five states, none of the remaining eleven trains, most of them long distance, are likely to run by end of this fiscal year.
Surprisingly, the time table of the non-operational trains has been announced long back in July 2011, but the trains still remain a distant dream, even as the present railway minister Dinesh Trivedi has often reiterated that Rajasthan has a special place in his heart.
The three trains announced in previous rail budget and running presently are bi-weekly Jodhpur-Delhi (via Degana and Ratangarh), Bikaner-Delhi Superfast and the weekly Kavi Guru Express connecting Guwahati and Jaipur.
The non-starter trains include the bi-weekly Nizamuddin-Ajmer Non-AC Duronto, the much awaited Jaipur-Delhi AC double-decker and the Jaipur-Agra Fort Shatabdi Express.
Also among the non-starter new trains is the weekly Vivek Express, connecting Bandra with Jammu Tawi (via Marwar, Degana and Ratangarh), Kolkata-Ajmer weekly train, Udaipur-Bandra tri-weekly, Bhagalpur-Ajmer weekly and Varanasi-Ahmedabad weekly via Ajmer.
While 56 per cent of the new trains announced to connect Rajasthan with other parts of the country are still to be flagged off, extension of two of the five existing trains announced during the previous budget also remain incomplete.
The two trains, include Udaipur-Gwalior Express (extended up to Khajuraho) and Sultanpur-Ajmer Express (up to Ahmedabad).
During his recent visits to Jaipur, the railway minister had reiterated that Rajasthan was special for him. It still remains a mystery as to how the trains announced by his party chief for Rajasthan still remain non-starter.
North Western Railway (NWR) sources confided that with most of the non-starter trains slated to pass through the five poll-bound states, the model code of conduct was blocking their first journey.
NWR official spokesman Lalit Bohra said, “We’re awaiting the green signal to the non-starter trains from the Railway Board, due to which the dates of their start cannot be declared.”