Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda presented the Rail Budget in Parliament on Tuesday. Here are the highlights:
# Revamping railway reservation system into next generation e-ticketing, Wi-Fi services in major stations and in select trains, mobile based wakeup calls for passengers
# 58 new trains introduced; 11 existing trains extended
# Top priority to transparency, e-procurement to be made
# Foot over-bridges, escalators and lifts at major railway stations through PPP.
# Battery operated cars for differently-abled at all major stations.
# NGOs, corporates to help provide passenger amenities.
# Work stations in select trains.
# Pre-booked ready-to-eat meals of top brands.
# Food courts at major stations.
# Indian Railways to become the largest freight carrier in the world.
# Social obligation of Railways in 2013-14 was Rs 20,000 crore.
# Gross traffic receipts in 2013-14 was Rs 12,35,558 crore; operating ratio was 94 per cent, says Gowda presenting Rail Budget.
# Focus in past has been on sanctioning projects rather than completing them: Railway Minister.
# Indian Railways spent Rs 41,000 crore on laying of 3,700 km of new lines in last 10 years: Railway Minister.
# Populist projects and mismanagement have brought Railways to point of funds crunch.
# This state of affairs in railways needs immediate course correction
# Need to explore alternative sources of resource mobilisation and not depend on fare hike alone: Rail Minister
# FDI in railway projects, except in operations, to be attracted.
# Future projects to be financed on public-private partnership model
# Plans to attract investment from domestic and foreign players in infrastructure; focus to be on aggressive indigenisation.
# There was decline in traffic growth and deterioration in operating ratio in 2013-14
# Expenditure in 2014-15 pegged at Rs 149,176 crore: Railway Minister
# Surplus revenues declining, hardly any resources for development works. Rs five lakh crore required for ongoing projects only: Gowda
# Loss per passenger per kilometre up from 10 paise (in 2000-01) to 23 paise (2012-13).
# Gross traffic receipts in 2014-15 estimated at Rs 1,64,374, expenditure Rs 1,49,176 crore. A 12.9 per cent growth expected in traffic receipt: Gowda
# Railways to scale down market borrowings to Rs 11,790 crore: Railway Minister.
# Retiring room facility to be extended to all stations: Gowda
# CCTVs to be used at stations for monitoring cleanliness at railway stations; third party inspections to be introduced: Gowda
# Reservation system will be revamped and ticket-booking through mobile phones and post offices popularised: Gowda
# 4,000 women constables to be inducted to enhance onboard safety: Railway Minister.
# Recent fare and tariff hike to mop additional revenue of about Rs 8,000 crore.
# Resource mobilisation through leveraging PSU resources, Foreign Direct Investment and Public Private Participation: Rail Minister
# Outsourcing at 50 major stations; onboard housekeeping to be extended to more trains; Launching feedback service through IVRS on the quality of food; Food can be ordered by SMS and phone.
# Gowda announces decision to launch diamond quadrilateral of high speed trains
# Bullet train proposed on Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.