Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday accused past central governments of leaving the railways at "God's mercy" and using it as a bargaining chip.
The chief minister said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, infrastructure in all sectors, including railways, is being made world-class. The opposition parties, which were in power for a long time after independence, neglected the railways, he alleged.
Dhami made the allegations while participating through video conferencing in the foundation stone laying programme of 'Amrit Bharat Station Yojana' launched by Modi at the cost of Rs 25 thousand crore for the redevelopment of 508 railway stations across the country.
“If we go through history, we will find that the people sitting in the opposition have always used the railways as a bargaining chip. We have seen how the allies of the party in power at the Centre were pacified through railways (ministry) and how it was turned into an arena of politics," Dhami said.
“Past governments instead of taking the railway system, which is called the country's lifeline, on the path of development, left it at God's mercy (Ram bharosey)," he added.
Today, bio-toilets are being used in trains, but the previous governments never thought about it because they lacked the will to work, he said.
Recalling his student days in Lucknow, Dhami said he only travelled by trains and used to face a lot of difficulties. But now, the railways is changing, modernising and its network is increasing, and each citizen of the country is proud of it.
He also referred to India's fastest train -- the Vande Bharat Express -- and claimed that some countries have shown interest in getting the indigenously developed semi-high-speed train.
In the last nine years of the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre, several developmental projects have been executed in Uttarakhand that were once considered "very difficult", Dhami said.
In this regard, he mentioned the Rishikesh-Karnprayag Rail Project and said 41 per cent of the work has been completed and the dream of the local residents to travel in a train will soon come true.
Under the 'Amrit Bharat Station Scheme', three stations in Uttarakhand - Harrawala in Dehradun, Lalkuan Junction in Nainital, and Roorkee Railway Station in Haridwar - will be redeveloped at the cost of Rs 83.61 crore.
Dhami said the stations will be redeveloped keeping in mind the local culture, heritage, and architecture.
He reiterated that his government is working at a fast pace to make Uttarakhand the best state in the country and sought the cooperation of the people.
-With PTI Input