Highlights of Railway Budget 2015-16
The most-expected part about this year’s Railway Budget – there is no increase in passenger rail fares.
|Rs.8.5 lakh crore will be invested in Railways in next 5 years.|
|‘Operation 5 mins’, wherein passengers travelling unreserved can purchase a ticket in 5 minutes.|
|Bio toilets and airplane-type vacuum toilets in trains.|
|Surveillance cameras in select coaches and ladies compartments for women’s safety without compromising on privacy.|
|Rail tickets can now be booked 120 days in advance.|
|Speed on nine railway corridors to go up to 200 km per hour.|
|Wi-Fi in more stations, mobile phone charging facilities in all train compartments.|
|Facility of online booking of wheelchair for senior citizens.|
|Satellite railway terminals in major cities.|
|Centrally managed Rail Display Network is expected to be introduced in over 2K stations over the next 2 years.|
|All India 24/7 helpline – 138 from March 2015 ; Toll free No.182 for security.|
|917 road under-bridges and over-bridges to be constructed to replace 3,438 railway crossings; at a cost of Rs. 6,581 crore.|
|Four Railway Research Centres to start in four universities.|
|Details about new trains and increased frequency will be announced later in this session of Parliament after review.|
The Railway Budget envisages an investment of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore in next five years.
The Minister suggested that the money could be raised from multiple sources – from multilateral development banks to pension funds.
Go in for partnership with key stakeholders – States, PSUs, partner with multilateral and bi-lateral organizations other governments to gain access to long-term financing. Also, get technology from overseas. The private sector could be roped in to improve last-mile connectivity, expand fleet of rolling stock and modernize station infrastructure.
The thrust will be on revamping management practices, systems, processes, and re-tooling of human resources.
- De-congesting networks with basket of traffic-generating projects will be the priority
- Priority to last-mile connectivity projects
- Fast-track sanctioned works on 7,000 kms of double/third/fourth lines
- Commissioning 1200 km in 2015-16 at an investment of Rs. 8,686 crore, 84% higher Y-O-Y.
- Commissioning 800 km of gauge conversion targeted in current fiscal.
- 77 projects covering 9,400 km of doubling/tripling/quadrupling works along with electrification, covering almost all States, at a cost of Rs. 96,182 crore, which is over 2700% higher in terms of amount sanctioned.
- Traffic facility work is a top priority with an outlay of Rs. 2374 crore .
- Award of 750 km of civil contracts and 1300 km of system contracts in 2015-16 on Dedicated
- Freight Corridor (DFC); 55 km section of Eastern DFC to be completed in the current year.
- Preliminary engineering-cum-traffic survey (PETS) for four other DFCs in progress.
- Acceleration of pace of Railway electrification: 6,608 route kilometers sanctioned for 2015-16, an increase of 1330% over the previous year.
Source : The Hindu