Area Under British Raj :- The Rail Budget was also released with the Union Budget. Since the Modi government came to power, the two budgets have been merged to be presented together. On the occasion of the presentation of the new budget of the year, let’s look at the last link of colonialism that still exists in India. In Amravati, Maharashtra, there is still a private metro line that was established by the British.
Area Under British Raj
When the Indian Railways was being nationalised in 1951, this particular line was neglected. The track extends over 190 km and connects Yavatmal and Murtijapur. Shakuntala Express is the only passenger train that uses this track and takes 6-7 hours to do so. It forms a lifeline for people who travel between these two cities for their livelihood. The British Company still earns a royalty of 1 crore 20 lakhs from India every year.
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During the colonial times, the trains on this particular track were run by a firm called Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR). The firm was known to operate across Central India. This 7-couch train was run by steam engines till 1994. After that the steam engines were replaced by diesel engines. The signals on this rail route are of the colonial times. Everyday, over a thousand passengers travel by this train every day.
While the track is still owned by the private British company, they are also responsible for its maintenance. However, the track is in a dilapidated state and according to sources, has seen no repair work over the last 60 years. This track was shut twice, in 2014 and again in 2016. However, it is an important connect between the two villages (and the 17 other station it covers). It had to be reopened both times.
Anand Rao has proposed to convert the track into a broad gauge one. The Indian Government has tried to purchase this track several times now but it has not been possible for technical issues.