Union Railway Budget 2016-17: Highlights
Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu focuses on fulfillment of promises made in the past and highlighted the work done in the last year. Railways have a saving of Rs 8,720 crore from previous budget estimates. Contrary to the expectations, there was no hike in train fares in this railway budget. No new trains introduced except for Humsafar, UDAY and Tejas. Existing trains to have better facilities and infrastructure.
Prabhu focuses more on cleanliness, infrastructure development, high-end technology, catering, development, safety & security and customer service. He also announced a sub-quota of 33% for women in each categories. He announced a slew of measures for common people to satisfy their needs and requirements and make their travel comfortable.
Indian Railways @ Hope:
* This budget reflects the aspirations of common man. This budget will be a journey of transformation and journey of a nation.
* Railways is an organization that has stood the test of time.
* We need to bring a new approach- Chalo mil ke kuchh naya karein.
* We will revisit rules to revitalise the structure.
* We will innovate and optimize the way forward.
* Indian Railways have a saving of 8,720 Cr from previous Budget Estimates.
* Action has been taken on 139 budget announcements in last budget.
* We would be surpassing the ambitious target of 2,500 Kms of broad gauge line this year.
* This is not only a moment for evolution of new idea but also an examination of last year’s momentum.
* 23 million is the number of passengers railways carry everyday.
* Schemes being given assent in 6-8 month instead of two years to increase efficiency.
* Improving efficiency yardsticks & procurement practices.
* Cabinet in historic decision allowed JVs with states.
* 44 new projects valued Rs. 92,714 crores to be implemented this year.
* Social Media has been converted to a complaint redressal mechanism.
* 1,780 automatic ticket vending machines for passengers implemented.
* Elimination of all unmanned Railway Crossings by 2020.
* Braille enabled train wagons implemented for specially abled people.
* All India 24×7 helpline number introduced for safety specially women;CCTV cameras installed.
* 820 Road over-bridge and road under-bridges completed in this year.
* Enhanced capacity of E-ticketing system from 2,000 to 7,000 ticket/min to support 1,20,000 concurrent results.
* Track Management System implemented under #MakeInIndia.
* Centralized Data Management for land holding is being developed by Indian Railways.
* Track Management System implemented under #DigitalIndia.
* Generated 65,000 additional berths by augmenting 884 coaches on patronised routes on permanent basis.
* Railways to increase lower berth quota for senior citizens by 50%.
* India’s first auto hub to be inaugurated in Chennai.
* Installed 2,500 water vending machines at stations.
* Mobile charging points in general class coaches.
* Finalised bids for setting two locomotive factories under #MakeInIndia
Vision & Objective:
* We hope to generate revenues to the order of Rs 1,84,820 Crores.
* For 2016-17, capital plan of Rs. 1.21 Lakh Crore estimate.
* We will be at the forefront of infrastructure development in the country.
* High end technology to improve safety.
* A system that is capable of taking care of its own needs, physically and financially is the vision of this budget.
* 1,600 km of electrification this year and 2,000 km in the next year are proposed.
* 14 crore man days of employment to be generated in 2018-19.
* More dedicated freight corridors to accommodate the increased demand in freight transport.
* Port connectivity and North East connectivity will be priority in this budget.
* Mizoram and Manipur to be brought under broad gauge soon.
* Transparency to be encouraged, online recruitment and social media to be the tools.
* Delegated to the Zonal railways all tender related powers.
* Wi Fi facility at 100 stations to be increased to 400 stations in next two years.
* 400 railway stations to be renovated under PPP model.
* Rail University to be established at Indian Railway Academy at Vadodara.
* Dedicated Freight Corridor proposed for North-South, East West and East Coast.
* Proposal for Antyodaya Express & Deendayalu coaches for unreserved travellers; provision 4 drinking water in these coaches.
* This govt. truly believes that fate of India wouldn’t change unless life of common men&women improve.
* CCTV coverage at all Tatkal counters.
* Increasing the WiFi Facility at Railway Stations.
* Clean My Coach service to be made pan India basis;request for cleaning of toilets in train through SMS.
* IRCTC will begin to manage catering service in a phased manner.
* Local cuisines of choice will be made available to the passengers.
* A sub quota of 33% for women in each of the categories.
* Battery operated cars and paid porters service for specially abled people.
* Specialized teams mandated to screen rail operation in specific ares to detect inefficiencies.
* Integrating all issues under two mobile apps – one for ticketing other for grievances.
* 20,000 display screens across 2,000 station for better dissemination of information to passengers.
* Passenger services to be improved and beautification will take place at various stations visited by pilgrims. They include Puri, Varanasi, Ajmer, Amritsar, Bihar Sharif, Chengannur, Dwarka, Gaya, Haridwar, Mathura, Nagapattinam, Nanded, Nasik, Pali, Parasnath, Tirupati, Vailankanni and Vasco.
* Cancellation can be done by the helpline number 139.
* Soft skill training to be provided to ‘Coolies’ who will now be called ‘Sahayaks’.
* All Gang Men will be provided with devices called ‘Rakshak’, which would be wireless enabled and will intimate them about approaching trains.
* 17,000 bio-toliets in trains and additional toilets at 475 stations will be provided before the close of this financial year.
* 74 more trains have been added under on-board housekeeping services and another 400 are to be covered soon, leading to a total number of almost 1000 trains under the scheme.
* Phase I of East Freight Corridor to be completed by June.
* In 2015-16, 350 manned level crossings and 1000 unmanned level crossings have been closed.
* ‘Clean My Coach’ service to be made pan India basis. Requst for cleaning of toilets in train through SMS service.
* Rail side logistic parks and warehouses proposed for capacity building of terminals.
* Foreign Rail Technological Cooperation scheme to be formulated for technological upgradation.
* A National Railway plan to be formulated for integrating railway network with other mode of transport.
* Railways to introduce Overnight double-decker trains on business travel routes.
* I propose to reorganise Railway Board for structural reorganisation of Indian Railways for better efficiency.
* Expansion of Vikalp – Train on Demand to provide choice of accommodation in specific trains to wait-listed passengers.
* Antodaya Express (long distance) for unreserved passengers to be introduced by Railways.
* Intend to explore advertising potential near tracks etc. to raise extra revenues.
* Intend to use drones and GPS for monitoring physically remote projects.
* Sale of tickets through hand held terminals. E-ticketing facility to foreign debit/credit cards. Bar coded tickets, scanners and access control on a pilot basis.
* By 2020 Rs.4,000 Crores of estimated revenue to be generated.
* 7 missions each headed by Mission Director reporting to Chairman Railway Board to be implemented for increasing efficiency.
* Target to commission 1000 MW of Solar Capacity in the next 5 years.
* Introduces Humsfar Express – fully AC Third AC service with an optional service for meals.
* Introduces Utkrisht Double-Decker AC Yatri (UDAY) Express with increased carrying capacity of almost 40%.
* Introduces Tejas – will showcase the future of train travel in India with operating speed of 130 kmph and above plus world class on-board services.