Banswara is the only district in the tribal-dominated region of southern part of Rajasthan, which does not have any train line pass through any corner. After seven decades of independence, even here the residents of the Banswara have longed to hear whistle of train.
It is not that there have been no attempts to bring rail to this zone. Former Chief Minister of the state, the late Haridev Joshi always had a dream that the railways should come to his native place in the district as well. Railways Minister Lalit Narayan Mishra he was going to sign the railway file of Banswada. But unfortunately an accident,he have not survived to do so.
The issue of connecting Banswara with the railway line remained in almost every election. The BJP got former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the socialists got the then Prime Minister VP Singh to express it in public meetings. The Congress has been following this from the beginning.
Finally, in the second tenure of the present Chief Minister of the state Ashok Gehlot, serious efforts started in this direction and the Dungarpur-Banswara-Ratlam railway project was announced in the Rail Budget of 2010-11. It was the first railway project in the country to be built under the auspices of the central and state government. Rs 1325 crore sectioned for this project by the State Government of Rajasthan. On June 3, 2011, the foundation stone of the project was laid in Dungarpur by UPA President Sonia Gandhi and announced to complete it in time at the huge general meeting held in Banswara. At the same time, the Central Government was also given the confidence to fix other expenses including land acquisition. This ambitious project was to be completed by 2016, but after the term of Chief Minister Gehlot's ended, Vasundhara Raje's government, who had been in power in the state, disagreed to give the central amount of the project as the state's participation to the Center and All other expenses were also requested to be funded by the central government. Vasundhara Raje said that rail is the subject of the center and it is not appropriate to impose this financial burden on the state government for the tribal region of backward region, such as valuation. Therefore, the Central Government should bear this expenditure. But Suresh Prabhu, the railway minister of the Modi government of the union government, did not listen to this and asked the state government to give their parts amount as promised.
Due to this battle between the central and state government, the speed of the project first slowed down and then came to a standstill in the course of time. The office of Deputy Chief Engineer (Construction) in Banswara, Dungarpur and Ratlam districts has also been closed due to non-release of budget for the amount of land compensation by the North Western Railway and the government. In this way, the residents of this tribal region once again have the dream of hearing the rage of the rail.
Now in State, for the third time, Ashok Gehlot, who became the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, has also demanded to bear the entire cost of this railway project by accusing the Modi government of the Center with political discrimination. Modi's present government. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech, kept silence on the subject and has not even mentioned any details about it in his budget speech once again
Parliamentarians of treasury bench and opposition are also looking helpless about this issue in Parliament. The present and former MPs of the state are looking desperate after raising this issue many times.