Adhir drills rail holes

New Delhi, Nov. 9: Junior railway minister Adhir Chowdhury is holding "unusually long" meetings with officials to review projects announced by Mamata Banerjee when she held the portfolio and apparently picking holes in them.

Sources said Rail Bhavan officials were "amused" when Chowdhury held a marathon three-hour meeting with them recently. Top officials of Eastern and South Eastern Railway and Calcutta Metro were present.

It is unusual for a minister of state to hold such long meetings with officials, the sources said.

The sources said Chowdhury, who will on Sunday flag off the double-lining of a stretch in his Behrampore constituency that had allegedly been ignored by Mamata when she was railway minister, appeared "keen to pick shortcomings" in projects announced by her and other Trinamul leaders who held the portfolio.

Congress MP Chowdhury, a vocal critic of the Bengal chief minister, is identifying "unfeasible projects" announced by Mamata.

The Rail Bhavan sources said Mamata had announced several railway projects, including 16-odd factories, for Bengal without financial support.

They said Chowdhury wanted to bring out a white paper on the Bengal projects in a bid to accuse Mamata of announcing "unfeasible projects that is yet to see the light of the day".

Chowdhury was not available for comment.

The officials said Chowdhury's boss P.K. Bansal had given him "freedom to oversee the Bengal projects".