Theweekendleader

Railway budget highlights

New Delhi

08-July-2014

The following are the highlights of the railway budget presented in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday by Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda:

* Receipts in 2014-15 estimated at Rs.164,374 crore, expenditure at Rs.149,176 crore

* Fare revision will bring in Rs.8,000 crore; need another Rs.9,000 crore for the diamond quadrilateral project

* Receipts in 2013-14 were Rs.139,550 crore; expenditure was Rs.130,321 crore

* Spent 94 paise of every rupee earned, leaving a surplus of only 6 paise

* Twenty three railway projects underway in the northeast; Rs.5,116 crore allocated for this in 2014-15 - a jump of 54 percent from the previous fiscal

* Diamond quadrilateral to be launched for high-speed trains; Rs.100 crore allocated for taking project forward

* First bullet train to run on Mumbai-Ahmedabd route

* Trains on select routes to be speeded up to 160-200 km per hour

* Ticketing to be further modernised to issue 7,200 tickets per minute

* Dedicated freight corridor projects to be closely monitored

* Social service obligations of the railways rose from 9.4 percent of gross traffic receipts in 2000-01 to 16.6 percent in 2010-11; in 2012-13 these stood at Rs 20,000 crore.

* Would require Rs.5 lakh crores in 10 years for ongoing projects

* In the past, focus was on sanctioning projects rather than completing them; in the past 30 years, 676 projects worth Rs.157,883 crore sanctioned, of which 317 completed and 359 incomplete and would require Rs.182,000 crore

* It is estimated that over Rs.40,000 crore would be needed for track renewal, elimination of unmanned railway crossings and for road-under and road-over bridges.

* To strengthen security in trains and at stations, 17,000 RPF constables have been recruited; 4,000 women constables to also be recruited. RPF teams in trains to be provided mobile phones.

* Railways to interact with industry to attract investment in PPP mode through BOT and Annuity route; 8-10 capacity augmentation projects on congested routes to be identified for this

* Port connectivity taken up on priority in PPP mode

* Fifty eight new trains, among them five Jan Sadharan trains, five premium trains and six AC express trains to be introduced; run of 11 trains to be extended

* Special festival trains to continue

* Banihal-Katra link in Jammu and Kashmir to be taken up; in the interim, a bus system has been introduced to enable travel to Srinagar on a single ticket

* Wi-Fi at select stations and on some trains

* Paperless railway offices in five years

* Indian Railways hold vast land assets which need to be digitised and GIS mapped for better management and usage; resource mobilisation using land assets will be explored through PPP mode

* Innovation Incubation Centre to be set up

* Pre-cooked ready-to-eat meals to be introduced

* Food courts to be set up at major stations to provide regional flavour; pilot project on New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi routes

* Forty percent increase in expenditure on cleanliness; CCTVs to monitor cleanliness at stations; cleaning activities at 50 major stations to be outsourced to professional agencies; separate housekeeping wing to be set up; onboard housekeeping services on 400 trains appreciated

* Special train on teachings of Swami Vivekananda

* Railways backbone of supply chain of defence establishment

* Carry one billion tonnes of freight every year; target to become largest freight carrier in the world

* Decline in traffic growth in 2013-14

* With 12,500 trains, railways move 23 million passengers every day; equivalent to moving Australia's population

* Open mind to correct shortcomings - IANS