Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 1
The Union Budget signalled ruling BJP’s political expediency with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announcing an infrastructure boost worth Rs 2.27 lakh crore for four poll-bound states of West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Tamil Nadu. These states will go to the polls in April-May this year.
The Budget speech steered clear of financial aid to major states, including the cash-strapped Punjab, but offered a bonanza for the above four, attracting the Opposition’s ire. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee went on to say her state did not require such funds to build roads and the money should be given to farmers.
The FM announced several projects, including a national highway covering 3,500 km in Tamil Nadu at an investment of Rs 1.03 lakh crore, 1,100-km national highway for Kerala and Rs 25,000-crore highway among other projects for Bengal.
The government said advanced traffic management system with speed radars, variable message signboards and GPS-enabled recovery vans would be installed on all new highways.