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Railway Budget 2015-16
Feb 27, 2015

On February 26, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu presented his first Rail Budget in the Lok Sabha. In his budget he put thrust in 9 areas:

  1. Indian Railways to become prime mover of economy once again. 

  2. Resource Mobilization for higher investments 

  3. Decongestion of heavy haul routes and speeding up of trains, emphasis on gauge conversion, doubling, tripling and electrification. 

  4. Project delivery 

  5. Passenger amenities 

  6. Safety 

  7. Transparency & System Improvement 

  8. Railways to continue to be the preferred mode of transport for the masses. 

  9. Sustainability


The Railway minister outlined 4 goals for Indian Railways to transform it over the next five years:

  • To deliver a sustained and measurable improvement in customer experience, the Indian Railways is launching initiatives that will systematically address customer concerns about cleanliness, comfort, accessibility, service quality and speed of trains.

  • To make Rail a safer means of travel.

  • To expand Bhartiya Rail’s capacity substantially and to modernise infrastructure. Given the importance of rail travel for the citizens, Indian Railways will increase daily passenger carrying capacity from 21million to 30 million. It will also increase track length by 20 percent from 1,14,000 km to 1,38,000 km, and will grow its annual freight carrying capacity from 1 billion to 1.5 billion tonnes. 

  • To make Bhartiya Rail financially self-sustainable, the Indian Railways will generate large surpluses from its operations not only to service the debt needed to fund capacity expansion, but also to invest on an on-going basis to replace its depreciating assets. This will require material improvement in operating efficiency, tighter control over costs, greater discipline over project selection and execution, and a significant boost to Railways’ revenue generating capacity.


To achieve these goals the budget proposes five drivers which include adopting a medium-term perspective plan consisting of White Paper, a Vision-2030 document and a five year action plan. Building Partnerships with key stakeholders for long term financing and overseas technology, improving last mile connectivity, expanding fleet of rolling stock and modernization of station infrastructure are included in these drivers. Railways will also leverage additional resources; envisages investment of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore in next five years.

 Key Features 

  • Plan Budget has gone up by 52% from Rs. 65,798 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 1,00,011 crore in 2015-16.

  • Out of this 41.6% resources will come from Central Government support while 17.8 % will be generated from internal resources.

  • Allocation for passenger amenities up by 67%.

  • The passenger earnings growth has been pegged at 16.7% and earnings target has been budgeted at Rs. 50,175 crore. 

  • The freight traffic is pegged at an all-time high incremental traffic of 85 million tonnes.

  • Goods earnings is proposed at Rs. 1,21,423 crore which includes rationalisation of rates, commodity classification and distance slabs. 

  • Gross Traffic Receipts are estimated at Rs 1,83,578 crore which is a growth of 15.3%.

  • Rs. 96,182 Crore on capacity expansion in Financial Year 2016.

  • Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years.

  • Proposal to set up joint ventures with States for focused project development, resource mobilization, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.

  • Railways to go through transformation in five years; to increase track capacity by 10 per cent to 1.38 lakh km.

  • Railways is drawing up a comprehensive policy to tap the latent advertising potential. The new strategy would harness all avenues including offering stations and trains for corporate branding.

  • Digitized mapping of land records has been initiated and responsibility will be fixed on officials for any encroachments.

  • Regulatory mechanism to be set up for deciding on tariff and disputes.

  • Budget proposes constituting an innovation council called Kayakalp for business re-engineering and introducing a spirit of innovation in Railways besides setting up of Technology portal to invite innovative technological solutions.

  • Four Railway Research Centers in select universities for fundamental research have also been proposed besides Malaviya Chair for Railway Technology at IIT (BHU), Varanasi.

  • Proposal to install Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System on select routes at the earliest.

  • Proposal to launch Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme to achieve the higher quality services.  

  • Four dedicated freight corridors to be completed this year; 6608 km of track to be electrified.

  • 77 new projects worth Rs 96,182 crore to expand capacity of 9,420 km rail lines.

  • Rs. 6,581 crore sanctioned for elimination of 3438 Level Crossings in next financial year.

  • Railways intend to fast track the sanctioned works on 7,000 km of double/third/fourth lines and commission 1200 km in 2015-16 at an investment of Rs. 8686 crore.

  • To make Indian Railways more environment friendly, 100 DEMUs will be enabled for dual fuel–CNG and diesel.

  • A new department for keeping stations and trains clean under Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

  • Hand-held terminals to TTEs for verification of passengers and charting.

  • 200 more stations to come under Adarsh Station scheme.

  • Proposal to develop 10 Satellite Railway terminals in major cities with twin purpose of decongesting the city and providing services to suburban passengers.

  • Railways to utilise resources from Nirbhaya Fund for augmenting security of women passengers. 

  • To promote tourism in the country, Indian Railways will join this effort through Incredible Rail for Incredible India.

  • Indian Railways will contribute by making available its infrastructure like stations and training centres for skill development.

  • Private sector to be roped in to modernise stations.

  • Transport Logistic Corporation of India to be set up to aid expanding freight handling capaity and provide end-to-end logistic solutions.

  • Environment Directorate in Railway Board to be set up.

 Passenger Amenities 

  • No hike in Railway Passenger Fares.

  • No new train introduced; will be announced later after review.

  • Tickets can now be booked 120 days ahead of travel date, instead of 60 days now.

  • Open wi-fi to be available at 400 railway stations.

  • Proposal to revamp the station re-development scheme.

  • Introduction of Operation 5-minute to ensure ticketless passenger get regular ticket within five minute of entering station.

  • Toll free number 182 created for security related complaints.

  • Railway helpline number 138 will become operational for 24×7.

  • Disposable bedding on payment to be available at all stations.

  • For the safety of women passengers CCTV cameras in suburban coaches.

  • Proposal for e-catering to select meals from an array of choices.

  • Bio-toilets and airplane-type vacuum toilets in trains.

  • Facility of online booking of wheelchair for disabled citizens.

  • All newly manufactured coaches to be braille enabled.

 


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