Jul 8, 2014

RAIL BUDGET - Bullet Trains and Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail

The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that Indian Railways is on its way to fulfill the long cherished dream to run a Bullet Train. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, the Railways proposes bullet trains by starting off with an already identified Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector, where a number of studies have been done. 

The Minster said, under the leadership of Shri Narendra Modiji, the Railways is embarking on an ambitious plan to have a Diamond Quadrilateral Network of High Speed Rail, connecting major Metros and growth centers of the country. A provision of Rs.100 crore has been made in the Budget for high Speed project to RVNL/HSRC (High Speed Rail Corridor) for taking further steps. 

He said, while bullet trains would require completely new infrastructure, higher speed for existing trains will be achieved by upgrading the present network. The Minister said, hence, an effort will be made to increase the speed of trains to 160-200 kmph in select sectors so as to significantly reduce travel time between major cities. The Minister said, the identified sectors are: 

i) Delhi-Agra 
ii) Delhi-Chandigarh 
iii) Delhi-Kanpur 
iv) Nagpur-Bilaspur 
v) Mysore-Bengaluru-Chennai 
vi) Mumbai-Goa 
vii) Mumbai-Ahmedabad 
viii) Chennai-Hyderabad and 
ix) Nagpur-Secunderabad. 

RAIL BUDGET - 4000 Women RPF Constables to be Recruited

Measures for Improvement in Safety and Security of Passengers
4000 Women RPF Constables to be Recruited
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that safety of passengers is of paramount importance for Indian Railways. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, it is estimated that over Rs. 40,000 crore would be needed to be invested in track renewals, elimination of unmanned level crossing and construction of Road-under-bridges and Road-over-bridges.

The Minister said, he is making provision of Rs. 1,785 crore for Road-under-bridges and Road-over-bridges in the Budget and requested concerned State Governments to expedite their proposals and pass on their share of the cost.

The Minister said, Indian Railways have 30348 Level Crossings, out of which 11563 are unmanned. Each unmanned level crossing is being examined in detail and depending on the site condition, action will be taken to eliminate it by suitable modality.

RAIL BUDGET - Catering Services to be Improved; Food Courts to be Set up at Major Stations

The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that in order to improve the quality, hygiene of on-board catering services and to provide variety, the Indian Railways proposes to introduce Pre-cooked (Ready-to-eat) Meals of reputed brands in a phased manner. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, to bring perceptible improvement in the catering services, he proposes to introduce Quality Assurance Mechanism through Third Party Audit by NABCB certified agencies. 

He said, in addition to the third party audit, a system of collecting feedback through IVRS mechanism, from the travelling passengers on the quality of food served, will be launched shortly. The Minister said, if the service is not to the standards set, especially in hygiene and the taste, severe action would be initiated against the vendors including cancellation of the contract. 

The Minister said, Indian Railways also proposes to set up Food Courts at major stations to provide the option of ordering regional cuisine while onboard, through emails, SMS and Smart Phones, etc. A pilot project will be started shortly between New Delhi-Amritsar and New Delhi-Jammu Tawi sections. 


RAIL BUDGET - Railways Committed to Meet Social Service Obligations Despite Rising Costs

The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda, while presenting the Railway Budget for 2014-15 in Parliament today, said that the Social service obligation of Railways rose from 9.4% of Gross Traffic Receipts in 2000-01 to 16.6% in 2010-11. In 2012-13, such obligations stood over Rs. 20,000 crore. The total investment, which is the Plan Outlay under budgetary sources, in the same year, was Rs. 35,241 crore. As an amount, the burden of social service obligation is more than half of the size of our Plan Outlay under budgetary sources. 

An organization spending an amount equivalent to more than half of its Plan Outlay under budgetary sources on social obligations, can hardly have adequate resources for its development works. However, Indian Railways would continue to fulfill its social obligations, the Minister said.


RAIL BUDGET - Budget Allocation for Cleanliness in Trains and Stations Increased Substantially

The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has announced substantial increase in budget allocation for cleanliness in the current year, which is a 40% increase over the previous year. 

Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, he said, the Indian Railways proposes to outsource cleaning activities at 50 major stations to professional agencies and to set up a separate Housekeeping Wing to have focused attention and exclusive responsibility of maintaining cleanliness and sanitation at stations. He said, a Corpus Fund for upkeep of stations will be set up. 

The Minister said, use of CCTVs at stations will be extended to monitor cleanliness activities. All-India level complaint/helpline number will be printed on the back of all PRS tickets. System of periodic third-party inspections will be introduced. Further, Bio-toilets will be increased in sufficient numbers in trains in order to mitigate the problem of direct discharge of human waste on the tracks and platform aprons at stations. 

The Minister said, Onboard Housekeeping Services, currently operational in 400 trains, has received good feedback from passengers. This will be extended to all the important trains. He said, the Indian Railways also proposes to increase Mechanized Laundries in order to improve quality of the bedrolls provided in AC Coaches. 


RAIL BUDGET - Project Management Group to be set up to Overcome Delays in Project Execution

Railways will set up Project Management Group at the level of Railway Board to overcome delays in project execution. Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Rai lways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said similarly to expedite the projects at the ground level, a project Monitoring & Coordination Group consisting of officials of State Government, Railways and professionals will also be set up. 

Railways have been suffering heavily because of time and cost overrun due to poor project management. 

Giving details of the poor state of project completion, the Minister said that in the last 30 years as many as 676 projects were sanctioned worth Rs.1,57,883 crore. Of these, only 317 projects could be completed and 359 projects remain to be completed. 


RAIL BUDGET - Pilot Project for ‘Office on Wheels’ for Business Travelers

Major it Initiatives Include Paperless Offices, new Mobile-Based Services
The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has said that in order to add best value to business travelers, the Indian Railways proposes to provide workstations in select trains on payment basis. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today he said, a pilot project will be launched by this year.

He said, Indian Railways is also going for a computer assisted Enterprise Resource Planning Solution, so that synergy is brought in. To begin with, following initiatives will be taken up:

i) Moving towards paperless offices in Indian Railways in 5 years;
ii) Next Generation Ticket Reservation System;
iii) Wi-fi Services in all A1 and A category stations and in select trains;
iv) Real-time tracking of trains and rolling stock;
v) Mobile based Wakeup Call System for passengers;
vi) Mobile based Destination Arrival Alert;
vii) Station Navigation Information System;
viii) Extension of Dual Display Fare Repeaters at all the Ticket Counters through PPP;
ix) Digital reservation charts at Stations (Bengaluru model);
x) Extension of Computerized Parcel Management System;
xi) Extension of logistics support to various e-commerce Companies by providing designated pick-up centres at identified Stations;
xii) Providing education to children of Railway staff at remote locations through Railtel OFC (optical fibre cable) network.


RAIL BUDGET - 54 Percent Jump in Allocation to Provide Connectivity to Hilly States & Northeast Regions

Railways have allocated an outlay of Rs.5,116 crore for projects in the North-East. This is 54% jump over allocations in the previous year. 

Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said that there are 23 projects underway in the Northeast, of which 11 are National Projects. 

The Minister expressed the hope that Dudhnoi-Mendipathar New Line; Lumding-Badarpur-Silchar Gauge Conversion; Harmuti-Murkongselek and Balipara- Bhalukpong sections will soon get commissioned. 


RAIL BUDGET - Steps to be taken to Attract more Investment Under PPP Model

Railways will interact with Industry and take further steps to attract investment under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through BOT and Annuity route and 8 to 10 capacity augmentation projects on congested routes will be identified for this purpose. Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said Zonal Railways will be suitably empowered to finalize and execute such projects. 

The Minister said with a large backlog of sanctioned projects, funding continues to be the biggest challenge for Railways. He said while private investment and customer funding for some port connectivity projects and few other Power Sector Projects has started, much more needs to happen if infrastructure creation has to keep pace with the requirement. 

Shri Gowda said that Indian Railways has taken up port connectivity on priority through PPP mode of funding in tandem with Sagar Mala Project of Port Development. Railways will facilitate connectivity to the new and upcoming ports through private participation. He said, so far in principle approval has been granted for building rail connectivity to the Ports of Jaigarh, Dighi, Rewas, Hazira, Tuna, Dholera and Astranga under Participative Model Policy of Indian Railways, amounting to a total of over Rs. 4,000 crore. 


Innovations Incubation Centers to be set up to make best use of Ideas and Experience of Staff

Railways proposes to set up an Innovations Incubation Center to harness the ideas generated from the staff of Indian Railways and convert them into practical solutions to increase efficiency of the system. 

Presenting the Railway Budget in Parliament today the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda said innovations which result in cost saving as well as revenue generation will be suitably rewarded in the form of incentive. 

As part of this exercise, it is also proposed to set up summer internships for the undergraduates of engineering and management studies. Students can intern at any of the various units of Railways i.e. Division, PSUs and Production Units. 


RAIL BUDGET - 58 New Trains to be Introduced 11 Existing Trains to be Extended

Railways proposes to  introduce 58  new trans which includes five Jansadharan Trains, five  Premium Trains, six AC Express Trains, 27  Express Trains,  eight Passenger Trains, two  MEMU services and  five  DEMU services this year.  Announcing this in Parliament today while presenting the rail budget, the Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda  also proposed to extend the run of 11 existing trains. 

  Shri Gowda said  these services would be meeting the demand surges which manifest themselves on special occasions.  He said that special trains would continue to run to meet the holiday and festival rush including services for Melmaruvathur, Velankanni, Jhalawar etc.


Jansadharan Trains

i)                   Ahmedabad–Darbhanga Jansadharan Express via Surat
Ii    Jaynagar–Mumbai Jansadharan Express
ii)                Mumbai–Gorakhpur Jansadharan Express
iv) Saharasa–Anand Vihar Jansadharan Express via Motihari
v)  Saharasa–Amritsar Jansadharan Express

Premium Trains
i)                   Mumbai Central–New Delhi Premium AC Express
ii)                Shalimar–Chennai Premium AC Express
iii)              Secunderabad-­ Hazrat Nizamuddin Premium AC Express
iv)              Jaipur–Madurai Premium Express
v)                 Kamakhya–Bengaluru Premium Express

AC ExpressTrains

i)                   Vijayawada­NewDelhiAPExpress(Daily)
ii)                LokmanyaTilak(T)–Lucknow(Weekly)
iii)              Nagpur–Pune(Weekly)
iv)              Nagpur–Amritsar(Weekly)
v)                 Naharlagun–NewDelhi(Weekly)
vi)                Nizamuddin–Pune(Weekly)


i)                   Ahmedabad–Patna Express(Weekly)via Varanasi
ii)                Ahmedabad­ Chennai Express(Bi­weekly)via Vasai Road
iii)              Bengaluru –Mangalore Express(Daily)
iv)              Bengaluru –Shimoga Express(Bi­weekly)
v)                 Bandra(T)–Jaipur Express(Weekly)Via Nagda,Kota
vi)               Bidar–Mumbai Express(Weekly)
vii)            Chhapra–Lucknow Express (Tri­ weekly)viaBallia,Ghazipur,Varanasi
viii)         Ferozpur–Chandigarh Express(6 days a week)
ix)               Guwahati–Naharlagun Intercity Express(Daily)
x)                  Guwahati–Murkongselek Intercity Express(Daily)
xi)               Gorakhpur–Anand Vihar Express(Weekly)
xii)             Hapa–Bilaspur Express(Weekly)via Nagpur
xiii)         Hazur Saheb Nanded–Bikaner Express(Weekly)
xiv)          Indore–Jammu Tawi Express(Weekly)
xv)            Kamakhya–Katra Express(Weekly)via Darbhanga
xvi)          Kanpur–Jammu Tawi Express(Bi­weekly)
xvii)       Lokmanya Tilak(T)–Azamgarh Express(Weekly)
xviii)     Mumbai_Kazipeth Express(Weekly)via Balharshah
xix)          Mumbai–Palitana Express(Weekly)
xx)            New Delhi ­Bhatinda Shatabdi Express(Bi­weekly)
xxi)          New Delhi–Varanasi Express(Daily)
xxii)       Paradeep–Howrah Express(Weekly)
xxiii)     Paradeep–Visakhapatnam Express(Weekly)
xxiv)     Rajkot–Rewa Express(Weekly)
xxv)        Ramnagar–Agra Express(Weekly)
xxvi)     Tatanagar Baiyyappanahali  (Bengaluru) Express(Weekly)
xxvii) Visakhapatnam–Chennai Express(Weekly)

Passenger Trains

i)                   Bikaner–Rewari Passenger(Daily)
ii)                Dharwad–Dandeli Passenger(Daily)via Alnavar
iii)              Gorakhpur–Nautanwa Passenger(Daily)
iv)              Guwahati–Mendipathar Passenger(Daily)
v)                 Hatia–Rourkela Passenger
vi)              Byndoor–Kasaragod Passenger(Daily)
vii)            Rangapara North–Rangiya Passenger(Daily)
viii)         Yesvantpur–Tumkur Passenger(Daily)

MEMU services
i)          Bengaluru –Ramanagaram 6 days a week(3Pairs)
ii)        Palwal–Delhi–Aligarh

DEMU services

i)         Bengaluru –Neelmangala (Daily)
ii)        Chhapra–Manduadih (6days a week)via Ballia
iii)       Baramula–Banihal (Daily)
iv)       Sambalpur–Rourkela (6 days a week)
v)        Yesvantpur ­Hosur (6 days a week)

i)          22409/22410 Anand Vihar Sasaram Garib Rath Express to Gaya
ii)        12455/12456 Delhi Sarai Rohilla Sriganganagar Express to Bikaner
iii)       15231/15232 Gondia Muzaffarpur Express to Barauni
iv)       12001/12002 New Delhi Bhopal Shatabdi Express to Habibganj
v)        54602 Ludhiana–Hissar Passenger to Sadulpur
vi)       55007/55008 Sonpur–Kaptanganj Passenger  to   Gorakhpur
vii)      55072/55073 Gorakhpur–Thawe Passenger toSiwan
viii)     63237/63238Buxar–Mughalsarai MEMU toVaranasi
ix)       63208/63211Jhajha–PatnaMEMUtoJasidih
x)        64221/64222LucknowHardoi MEMU to Shahjahan pur
xi)       68002/68007Howrah–Belda MEMU to Jaleswar

Staff Welfare Fund Contribution to be Increased Railway University to be set up for Railway Employees

The Minister of Railways Shri D. V. Sadananda Gowda has announced several measures for welfare and skill development of railway staff. Presenting the Railway Budget 2014-15 in Parliament today, the Minister said, these measures include: 

i) Increase in contribution towards Staff Benefit Fund from Rs. 500 per capita to Rs.800 per capita. 

ii) A special scheme for the meritorious wards of Railway persons for their outstanding performance in academics and sports for such children. 

iii) The Hospital Management Information system will be used to integrate all health units, Divisional hospitals and Central Hospitals as well as our empanelled hospitals and 

iv) To examine feasibility of providing air-conditioning in loco cabins; 

He said, Railways is also contemplating on setting up of a Railway University for both technical and non-technical subjects. 

He said, Indian Railways will tie up with technical institutions for introducing railway oriented subject for graduation and skill development. In the meantime, staff at the ground level will be sent for short duration courses of technical and non-technical nature, involving locally available technical institutions. The exposure for specialized areas like high-speed, heavy haul operations, etc. will be undertaken for all level of staff and officers at appropriate institutes in India and abroad. 


Highlights of the Railway Budget 2014-15

Achievements / Initiatives
·         Major landmark achievement in National Project of Kashmir –
·         State of Meghalaya and capital of Arunachal Pradesh to be on Railway Map by this fiscal.
·         Gauge Conversion of strategically important 510 km Rangiya – Murkongselek line in Assam to be completed by this fiscal.
·         XIth Five Year Plan Targets exceeded in New Lines (2,207 km) , Doubling (2,758 km) and Electrification (4,556 km), Production of Diesel  (1,288) & Electrical (1,218) Locos and Acquisition of Wagons (64,875)
·         Dedicated Freight Corridors on the Eastern and Western Routes – leading to strategically critical capacity augmentation.
·         Railways met from its own means the total additional impact of Rs one lakh crore due to implementation of 6th Pay Commission
·         In 2013-14, 1532 km of New Lines, Doubling and Gauge Conversion commissioned.
·         Production commenced at the new factories – Rail Wheel Plant, Chhapra ; Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli ; and Diesel Component Factory, Dankuni.
·         Specially designed coaches for adverse weather condition for rail travel in Kashmir.
·         Successful development of Corrosion resistant, lighter wagons with higher pay-load and speed potential upt 100kmph.
·         Railways sportspersons dominate national events by winning titles in 23 disciplines and runners up in 9 disciplines. In various international championships a total of 2 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze Medals won.
·         Unigauge Policy started in 1992 has converted 19,214 km to Broad Gauge, benefitting several States including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and Tamil Nadu.
Measures for improving Safety & Security
·         No unmanned Level Crossing.   A total of 5,400 unmanned level crossings eleiminated – 2,310 by manning it and 3,090 by closure / merger / construction of ROBs or RUBs.
·         Improved audio – visual warning to road users in advance of approaching trains.
·         Induction of indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System
·         Development of ‘crashworthy’ coaches
·         In last five years, offering employment to over one lakh persons in Group C categories and to 1.6 lakh persons in erstwhile Group D categories.
·         Provision of Vigilance Control Device in all locomotives
·         Various measures to prevent fire incidents on trains –
Ø  Fire retardant materials
Ø  Multi-tier protection for electric circuits
Ø  Portable fire extinguishers in coaches
Ø  Induction based cooking to replace LPG in pantry cars
Ø  Intensive checks against explosives and inflammable materials.
Financial Health
·         Rail infrastructure by cost sharing arrangement with State Governments; Karnataka, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Haryana agreed to several projects
·         Several Public Private Partnerships (PPP) projects are in the pipeline.
·         FDI being enabled to foster creation of world-class rail infrastructure.
·         Rail Land Development Authority raised Rs 937 crore so far.
Modernisation and Technology Induction
·         High Speed Trains
Ø  Joint feasibility study by India and Japan for Mumbai – Ahmedabad Corridor to be co-financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency
Ø  Business Development Study by SNCF for Mumbai – Ahmedabad corridor.
·         Semi- High Speed Projects
Ø  Exploring low cost option of speeds 160- 200 kmph on select routes
Green Initiatives
·         Railway Energy Management Company becomes functional. Windmill and solar power plants to be set up with 40% subsidy from Ministry of New & Renewable Energy.
·         200 Stations, rooftops of 26 buildings and 2,000 level crossing gates to be covered.
·         Railways bagged 22 out of 112 awards given by the Government.
·         ‘Green Curtains’ along the track close to major stations; Pilot work at Agra and Jaipur
·         Coverage of Bio-toilets in 2,500 coaches and would be increased progressively.
Passenger Friendly Initiatives
·         Overwhelming public response to e-booking of ticket
·         On-line tracking of exact location and running of train movements
·         51 Jan-Ahaar outlets for Janta Meals ; 48 passenger escalators commisionsed at stations and 61 more being installed ; air-conditioned EMU services in Mumbai from July 2014 ; information display system in important trains to indicate stations & arrival time.
·         ‘Upgradation’ scheme extended to AC Chair Car and Executive Chair car passengers.

Demand Management through Dynamic Pricing
·         Premium AC Special train introduced in Delhi – Mumbai Sector with shorter advance reservation period and dynamically varying premium over tatkal fare

Enhancing Market Share
·         Clearing missing links in Carrying Capacity + 8 tonne routes; freight train speeding ; upgradation of rolling stock ; increasing length of trains ; tariff and incentive schemes to encourage traffic to rail and minimizing empty running.
Rail Tariff Authority
·         Independent Rail Tariff Authority set-up to advise on fixing of fares and freight, to engage all stake-holders
Information Technology
·         Initiatives taken include – proliferation of cash accepting Automatic Ticket Vending Machines ; ticketing on mobile phones in unreserved segments ; system update on PNR status; online booking of retiring rooms at important stations ; online booking of meals for selected en-route stations ; introduction of e-forwarding note and electronic transmission of railway receipts for freight customers
Revenue Freight Traffic
·         Loading target of 1047 Million Tonnes for 2013-14 would be surpassed
·         Empty Flow Discount Scheme to be implemented
·         Carrying Capacity + 9 tonne + 1 tonne routes being planned
·         Easing of some restrictions on movement of imported commodities through Containers
·         Carrying capacity of 20 feet containers increased by 4 tonnes
·         Parcel Terminals & Special Parcel Trains with scheduled timings.
·         New policy on parcels to encourage transportation of milk.
·         New concept of ‘hub and spoke’ for parcel business
·         Third party warehousing in Special Parcel Terminals envisaged.
Financial Performance 2012-13
·         Loading of 1,008 Million Tonnes surpassed the R.E. target of 1,007 Million Tonnes
·         Paid full dividend Rs 5,389 crore to General Exchequer
·         90.2% Operating Ratio in 2012-13
·         Repayment in full with interest of Rs 3,000 crore loan from the Government
·         Railway Fund Balances of Rs 2,391 crore
 Financial Performance 2013-14
·         Loading Target raised to 1,052 Million Tonne from B.E. 1,047 Million Tonne.
·         Freight Earnings Target revised to Rs 94,000 crore from B.E. Rs 93,554 crore
·         Stringent Financial control exercised and Ordinary Working Expenses pegged only at Rs 560 crore higher than Budget Estimates, despite various post-budgetary factors
·         Plan Outlay revised to Rs 59,359 crore
·         Operating Ratio likely to be 90.8%
·         Fund Balances to continue to grow to Rs 8,018 crore
Budget Estimates 2014-15
·         Loading target of 1,101 Million Tonnes
·         Gross Traffic Receipts targeted at Rs 1,60,775 crore with Passenger Earnings (Rs 45,255 crore), Goods (Rs 1,05,770 crore), Other Coaching & Sundry Earnings (Rs 9,700 crore)
·         Ordinary Working  Expenses placed at Rs 1,10,649 crore, higher by Rs 13,589 crore
·         Pension Outgo budgeted at Rs 27,000 crore against Rs 24,000 crore for 2013-14
·         The entire Dividend of Rs 9,117 crore to General Exchquer will be paid
·         Fund Balances likely to be Rs 12,728 crore.
·         Operating Ratio budgeted at 89.8%
Annual Plan 2014-15
·         Annual Plan envisaged at Rs 64,305 crore with a Budgetary Support of Rs 30,223 crore , Internal Resources of Rs 10,418 crore and Extra Budgetary Resources of Rs 19,805 crore
·         New Surveys : 19 New Lines & 5 Doubling
New Services
Ø  New Trains
·         17 Premium trains
·         38 Express trains
·         10 Passenger trains
·         4 MEMU
·         3 DEMU

Ø  Extension and Increase in frequency
·         3 Extension of trains
·         3 increase in frequency

 Source - PIB





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