Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Rail Budget 2016: new plans and reforms ahead

Narada Desk | February 25, 2016 2:02 pm Print
Railway budget 2016
Railway budget 2016

Prabhu’s announcements included India’s first rail auto hub, boost to e-catering, connectivity to North-East and Wi-Fi in railway stations.

New Delhi: The railway budget presented by Minster Suresh Prabhu comes with a slew of measures to reorganize, restructure and rejuvenate railways.

This the second time, Suresh Prabhu is presenting the railway budget. Addressing the nation, he stated that much progress has taken place with the government and that they are expecting a target revenue of Rs 184,820 crores for the next financial year.

The minister stated that the IRCTC will begin to manage catering services in a phased manner and include e-ticket facility for foreign debit and credit card holders.

While the budget mentions an increase in the electrification by 50 per cent and 2000 km of tracks, Suresh Prabhu asserted the introduction of a zero-based budgeting scheme for the coming year.

Furthermore, there will be measures to make reserved accommodations and cancellation facility through 139 helpline number.

The minister also mentioned that journalists will receive a facility of e-booking of tickets on concessional passes. The government also plans to introduce bar-coded tickets on a pilot basis to tackle the menace of ticketless travel.

The next financial year will see overnight double-decker trains introduced on business travel routes. Under the Make-In-India scheme, the railways have finalized bids for setting up locomotive factories at a cost of Rs 40000 Cr.

In his presentation, the Minister asserted the need to remove all the unmanned level crossing by 2020. However, 44 new projects will be introduced covering 5300 km. The minister stated that he is expecting a growth in the revenue by 10 per cent in this financial year.

The minister stated that the budget also notes the need to sign MoU’s with 6 states for joint ventures. The next financial year will also see tenders that will go ‘paperless’.

The budget mentioned the addition of 1350 railways crossings, Wi-fi services at 100 stations, installation of CCTV’s at 311 stations, and an investment target at 1.2 lakh crore.

Suresh Prabhu mentioned that his ministry has saved a sum of Rs 78, 720 crores in the last financial year.

The minister spoke about the world’s first bio-toilet being used in Dibrugarh Rajdhani express and the mentioned the government’s plan to install 1700 bio-fuels, and additional toilets in all railway stations across the nation. New rail connectivity to North East India will be introduced in the ’16-’17.

Decisions have been taken on increasing the average speed of freight trains to 50 km/Hr. Capital outlay plans to review freight policy, to boost revenue, and generate employment of 9 crores.

He has also mentioned that serious measures will be taken to improve our railway services in the last financial year. The budget mentions that specialized teams will be mandated to screen rail operations in specific areas to detect inefficiencies.

LIC agreed to fund 1.5 Lakh crore at favourable terms. For the first time in the Indian railways, absolute reductions are planned-diesel, electricity through concert rigorous planning,

Suresh asserted that the railways will increase the quota for lower berths for senior citizens by 50 per cent. At the same time, the minister stated that women-friendly services and safety measures will be introduced.

Dedicated freight corridor has been proposed for NS, EW, and East coast of India. The special measure has been introduced for unreserved passengers.

The railway will introduce for the unreserved passengers the new Antyodaya Express long distance and will operate more services in the form of a fully unreserved train for the common man on dense routes.