The rail budget for the year 2008-09 would be 'people friendly', Railway Minister Lalu Prasad indicated on Friday.
"I will be presenting the rail budget on February 26 keeping the common man in mind," the Railway Minister said, after the foundation stone of the Dahod-Indore and Chhota Udaipur-Dhar rail lines was laid by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The project is expected to cost Rs 1,286 crore (Rs 12.86 billion).
Besides, Yadav, Madhya Pradesh Governor Balram Jakhar, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Ministers - Kantilal Bhuriya, Suresh Pachouri and Naranjibhai Rathwa, were also present.
According to sources, the 210 km long Indore-Dahod will cost Rs 679 crore (Rs 6.79 billion), while 157 km Chhota Udaipur-Dhar rail line will cost Rs 609 crore (Rs 6.09 billion).
The proposed Indore-Dahod railway track, which will pass through 20 stations, will act as a lifeline to the region, Prasad said. The railway minister also announced plans for setting up of a sleeper rail coach factory in the tribal region.
The Indore-Dahod rail track will provide an alternative route from Delhi to Mumbai, via Dahod, Dhar, Dewas, Maksi, Shivpuri, Gwalior and Mathura. Chhota Udaipur-Dhar rail line on the Mumbai-Delhi trunk route will connect Indore, Pithampur, Dhar and Alirajpur.