Railway Budget: Odisha gets Rs 869cr for 2013-14
In 2012-13, the Union government had sanctioned Rs 723 crore for Odisha against the state’s demand of Rs 2345 crore, but slashed about Rs 280 crore in three phases. Similarly, allocation for the state in 2011-12 Rail Budget was Rs 1168 crore while it demanded Rs 2085 crore.
Union Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal during his maiden Railway Budget speech proposed to set up a new wagon factory in Ganjam and a new maintenance workshop in Kalahandi district.
Bansal presenting his maiden Railway Budget in the Parlimant also declared laying of a new Raipur-Jharsuguda railway line and Nirakarpur-Tapang bypass line.
With no rail fare hike proposed in the annual Rail Budget, citizens across the country heaved a huge sigh of relief. However superfast charges and tatkal fees have been proposed for a hike.
The minister amid ruckus proposed to introduce 67 new express trains, 27 passenger trains and 8 DEMU services across the country.
As part of his Railway Budget speech Bansal emphasised the need to improve the e-ticketing service via the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Company (IRCTC) website.
“By this calendar year we will put in place a new e-ticketing system to ensure that IRCTC will allow 7,200 tickets per minute as compared to 2,000 users that it currently supports. The new system will also allow IRCTC to support 1 lakh users at a time compared to the current 20,000 users,” he said.
The Railways which expects an investment of up to Rs 9,000 crore including Rs 3,800 crore for port connectivity projects, Rs 4,000 crore for coal mine connectivity and Rs 800 crore for iron ore mines connectivity improvements, hopes passenger traffic to grow by 5.2 per cent in 2013-14.
Rail Budget 2013: highlights
• 67 new Express trains to be introduced
• 26 new passenger services, 8 DEMU services and 5 MEMU services to be introduced
• Run of 57 trains to be extended
• Frequency of 24 trains to be increased
• First AC EMU rake to be introduced on Mumbai suburban network in 2013-14
• 72 additional services to be introduced in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata
• Rake length increased from 9 cars to 12 cars for 80 services in Kolkata and 30 services in Chennai
• 500 km new lines, 750 km doubling, 450 km gauge conversion targeted in 2013-14
• First ever rail link to connect Arunachal Pradesh
• Some Railway related activities to come under MGNREGA
• For the first time 347 ongoing projects identified as priority projects with the committed funding
• Passenger growth 5.2% in 2013-14
• Gross Traffic Receipts – Rs. 1,43,742 crore i.e. an increase of 18,062 crore over RE, 2012-13
• Dividend payment estimated at Rs. 6,249 crore
• Operating Ratio to be 87.8% in 2013-14
• Supplementary charges for super fast trains, reservation fee, clerkage charge, cancellation charge and tatkal charge marginally increased
• Fuel Adjustment Component linked revision for freight tariff to be implemented from 1st April 2013
• Enhanced reservation fee abolished
• Elimination of 10797 Level Crossings (LC) during the 12th Plan and no addition of new LCs henceforth
• Introduction of 160/200 kmph Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains
• ‘Aadhar’ to be used for various passenger and staff related services
• Internet ticketing from 0030 hours to 2330 hours
• E-ticketing through mobile phones
• Project of SMS alerts to passengers providing updates on reservation status
• Next –Gen e-ticketing system to be rolled out : capable of handling 7200 tickets per minute against 2000 now, 1.20 lakh users simultaneously against 40,000 now
• Introduction of executive lounge at 7 more stations: Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Nagpur, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru
• Introduction of ‘Azadi Express’ to connect places associated with freedom movement
• Four companies of women RPF personnel set up and another 8 to be set up to strengthen the security of rain passengers, especially women passengers
• 10% RPF vacancies being reserved for women
• 1.52 lakh vacancies being filled up this year out of which 47000 vacancies have been earmarked for weaker sections and physically challenged
• Railways to impart skills to the youth in railway related trades in 25 locations
• Provision of portable fire extinguishers in Guard-cum-Brake Vans, AC Coaches and Pantry Cars in all trains
• Pilot project on select trains to facilitate passengers to contact on board staff through SMS/phone call/e-mail for coach cleanliness and real time feedback
• Provision of announcement facility and electronic display boards in trains
• Providing free Wi-Fi facilities on several trains
• Upgrading 60 stations as Adarsh Stations in addition to 980 already selected
• Introduction of an ‘Anubhuti’ coach in select trains to provide excellent ambience and latest facilities and services
• 179 escalators and 400 lifts at A-1 and other major stations to be installed facilitating elderly and differently-abled
• Affixing Braille stickers with layout of coaches including toilets, provision of wheel chairs and battery operated vehicles at more stations and making coaches wheel-chair friendly
• Centralized Catering Services Monitoring Cell set up with a toll free number (1800 111 321)
• Complimentary card passes to recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna & Dhyan Chand Awards to be valid for travel by 1st Class/2nd AC
• Complimentary card passes to Olympic Medalists and Dronacharya Awardees for travel in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
• Travel by Duronoto Trains permitted on all card passes issued to sportspersons having facility of travel by Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
• Facility of complimentary card passes valid in 1st class/2nd AC extended to parents of posthumous unmarried awardees of Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, President’s Police Medal for Gallantry and policy medal for Gallantry
• Policy Gallantry awardees to be granted one complimentary pass every year for travel along with one companion in 2nd AC in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
• Passes for freedom fighters to be renewed once in three years instead of every year.
• Setting up of six more Rail Neer bottling plants at Vijayawada, Nagpur, Lalitpur, Bilaspur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad
• Setting up of a multi-disciplinary training institute at Nagpur for training in rail related electronics technologies
• Setting up of a centralized training institute at Secunderabad–Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management
• Five fellowships in national universities to be instituted to motivate students to study and undertake research on Railway related issues at M.Phil and Ph.D. levels
• Fund allocation for staff quarters enhanced to Rs. 300 crore
• Provision of hostel facilities for single women railway employees at all divisional headquarters
• Provision of water closets and air conditioners in the locomotive cabs to avoid stress being faced by loco pilots