Mukul hometown tense as Adhir takes potshots at Didi
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Addressing the event, Chowdhury said: "Kanchrapara railway town needs to be cleaned of garbage elements (indirect reference to Mukul and others in the TMC). The railway officials said they have an effluent treatment plant. So they can clean up the city." Again alluding to Mukul and Mamata, who were railway ministers before him, Chowdhury said: "There are many criticisms against Railways because it did not meet the demand-supply gap and lacks modernization and speed."
In a question-answer session, Chowdhury criticised Mamata's announcements of providing jobs in Railways to those who give their land for network expansion. "This cannot be a policy. I will speak to the PM and Planning Commission against it. Employment in lieu of land cannot be implemented. In stray cases, employment is offered to land losers because of compulsion. But this cannot be generalised. If it is done, then 1.7 to 2 lakh people will have to be given employment just in Eastern Railways, which is not feasible."
He called some decisions taken by Mamata as railway minister "populist moves". Asked about the fate of railway projects announced by her, Chowdhury said: "One may become populist by making announcements, but one has to look at the reality and financial implications of the projects. Acquisition of land is also important and the state government plays a role in land acquisition. So there is need for strong coordination between railways and the state government."