Thursday, February 26, 2015

Railway Budget 2015-16: Highlights

Where: Lok Sabha

What: Presented the Railway Budget 2015-16

When: .  26 February 2015

1. Railway Budget 2015-16: Highlights

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. In his first Railway Budget, Prabhu outlined a plan to invest over 8 lakh crore rupees over
5 years. The size of the Plan Budget has gone up by 52 percent from 65789 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 100011 crore rupees in 2015-16.

9 thrust areas of the Budget includes

• Indian Railway to become prime mover of economy once again
• Resource Mobilization for higher Investments
• Decongestion of heavy haul routes and speeding up of trains: emphasis on gauge conversion, doubling, tripling and electrification
• Project delivery
• Passenger Amenities Safety
• Transparency & System Improvement
• Railways to continue to be the preferred mode of transport for the masses
• Sustainability
Four goals for Indian Railways to transform over next five years
• To deliver a sustained and measurable improvement in customer experience.
• To make Rail a safer means of travel.
• To expand Bhartiya Rail’s capacity substantially and modernise infrastructure: for this purpose daily passenger carrying capacity will be increased from 21 million to 30 million. Track length will also be increased by 20 percent from 114000 km to 138000 km. Annual freight carrying capacity will be grown from 1 billion to 1.5 billion tonnes.
• To make Bhartiya Rail financially self-sustainable.
Key Highlights of the Railway Budget 2015-16
• No increase in passenger fares
• Passengers can book tickets 120 days in advance instead of 60 days which was available till date
• Outlay for passenger amenities increased by 67 percent
• New train sets that can save 20 percent journey time will be introduced in future. These trains will be similar to bullet trains in design but can run on the existing tracks
• The speed passenger trains across nine corridors will be increased to 160-200 km from 110 km
• SMS alert will be introduced for train timings and under this passengers will be informed in advance the updated arrival or departure time of the trains at starting or destination stations
• Air-conditioned coaches for suburban trains will be introduced
• Wi-fi will be available at 400 railway stations
• Railways Intends to set up an Innovation Council called Kayakalp for Purpose of Business Re-Engineering
• Railways Proposes to set up Malaviya Chair for Railway Technology at IIT (BHU), Varanasi
• Bidding system will be used for redevelopment of stations
• 10 satellite railway stations will be developed in 2015-16
• 800 km of gauge conversion will be commissioned
• E-catering introduced in 108 trains can be accessed by ordering on IRCTC website
• Water vending machines will be expanded on more stations
• On–board entertainment facility will be extended on Shatabdi trains
• General class coaches will see introduction of mobile charging stations
• For benefit of the common man, more general class coaches will be added to select trains
• Pension funds, multi-lateral banks have evinced interest in Railways
• Proposed the best operating ratio in nine years, of 88.5 per cent for 2015-16
• Track capacity will be increased by 10 percent to 1.38 lakh kilometers
• Feasibility report of high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad is expected by mid-2015
• To ease private investment, wagon-making scheme will be reviewed
• All India 24x7 grievances helpline 138 will be started
• Bio-toilets will replace more than 7000 toilets, while 650 stations will get new toilets 
• Passenger travelling unreserved can produce a ticket within 5 minutes and for this purpose Operation Five Minutes will be introduced
• To address complaints of people Mobile application is being developed
• Integrated tickets will be introduced
• Hand-held devices will be introduced for ticket checkers; it is move towards paperless ticketing
• In next 2 years, centrally managed railway display network will be introduced in over 2000 stations
• Rail-cum-road ticket to be extended in many stations
• Rail connectivity will be enhanced in North Eastern states
• To aid expanding freight handling capacity and provide end-to-end logistic solutions, Transport Logistic Corporation of India will be set up
• PPP model will be used to augment resources and generate more employment
• 6608 kilometer of track will be electrified
• 96182 crrore rupees will be spent to expand capacity of 9420 km rail lines
• For women safety, CCTVs will be introduced in selected trains and suburban trains
• Train Protection Warning System and Train Collision Avoidance System will be installed on select routes at the earliest
• Projects for rail connectivity to many ports and mines
• Foreign Rail Technology Cooperation Scheme will be launched in order to achieve the higher quality service

• Programme to improve design, quality and cleanliness of bed linen will be launched within the next six months

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