March 14th, 2012
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Railway budget 2012, passenger fares hiked

railway budget 2012New Delhi: Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in his budget announced marginal hike in passenger fares ranging from 2 paise per kilometre to 30 paise per kilometre in various categories of trains despite noting that Railways was passing through a “difficult phase“. Platform tickets have also been raised from Rs 3 to Rs 5. He also announced introduction of 75 express trains, 21 passenger trains and extension of 39 trains besides increase in the frequency of 23 trains.

In his first Railway Budget, Mr. Trivedi announced increase in passenger fares by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary Second Class, 3 paise per km for Mail/Express Second Class and 5 paise per km for Sleeper Class, 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC-3 Tier and First Class. AC-2 Tier will cost more by 15 paise per km while AC-1 will be dearer by 30 paise per km.

Mr. Trivedi said that though he had been asked to introduce a steep hike in passenger fares as there has been no increase in last eight years, he has tried to rationalize the fares to cause “minimal impact” on the common man and “to keep the burden within tolerance limits in general“.

For fast track elimination of level crossings in the next five years, the minister decided to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) named Rail-Road Grade Separation Corporation of India. In order to achieve even higher safety standards a committee to examine the current standards of safety on Indian Railways and to suggest suitable benchmarks and safety protocols would be set up. Dr. Anil Kakodkar to head this this ‘High Level Railway Safety Committee’. The Committee has submitted its Report on 17th February, 2012 and recommended far reaching measures and safety protocols.

I propose to set up an independent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory regulatory body. The functions of the Authority would be worked out in greater details in line with international practices in the best interests of passenger safety. Since research and development activities are central to any tangible results in the area of safety enhancement, I also propose to set up a Railway Research and Development Council at the apex level to spearhead such efforts. This would also be in line with recommendations of Kakodkar Committee.

Presenting the annual Rail Budget for the financial year 2012-13 in Parliament on Wednesday, Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi made following key proposals:

Ø  Estimated working expensefor fiscal 2013 at Rs 84,400 crore

Ø  Railway targeting passenger growth of 5.4 per cent in fiscal 2013.

Ø  Ordinary working expenses fixed at Rs 75,650 cr, an increase of Rs 2,000  crore over Budget Estimates; Pension payments also up by Rs 1,000 crore.

Ø  Passenger fares to be hiked by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class travel; 3 paise per km for mail/ express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC chair car/AC 3-tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2-tier and 30 paise per km for AC 1-tier.

Ø  Minimum fare and platform tickets to cost Rs 5.

Ø  75 new Express trains to be introduced, along with 21 new passenger services, nine DEMU services and 8 MEMU services trains.

Ø  Route of 39 trains to be extended and frequency of 23 trains to be increased.

Ø  Railways to hire more than one lakh employees in 2012-13; 80,000 persons hired last year.

Ø  Indian Railways Stations Development Corp to be set up to re-develop stations and maintain them like airports.

Ø  To set up an independent Railway Safety Authority as a statutory body. The open discharge toilets on trains to be replaced with green (bio) toilets.

Ø  All unmanned level crossings to be abolished in next five years; To target zero deaths due to rail accidents.

Ø  To provide rail connectivity to neighbouring countries, a new line from Agartala to Akura in Bangladesh to be set up.

Ø  Double-decker container trains to be introduced.

Ø  Steps to improve cleanliness and hygiene on trains and stations within six months. A special house keeping body to be set up to take care of both stations and trains.

Ø  New passenger services include escalators at major stations, alternative train accommodation for wait-listed passengers, laundry services, AC lounges, coin/currency operated ticket vending machines.

Ø  Two new members, one for marketing, and other for safety, to be inducted into Railway Board.

Ø  On board passenger displays indicating next halt station and expected arrival time to be introduced.

Ø  Introduction of regional cuisine; Book-a-meal scheme to provide meals through SMS or email.

Ø  Specially designed coaches for differently-abled persons to be provided in each Mail/Express trains.

Ø  Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority to be considered.

Ø  National High Speed Rail Authority to be set up; Pre-feasibility studies on six high speed corridors completed; study on Delhi-Jaipur-Ajmer-Jodhpur to be taken up in 2012-13.

Ø  Wellness programme for railway staff at work places.

Ø  Institution of ‘Rail Khel Ratna’ Award for 10 rail sportspersons every year.

Ø  A wagon factory at Sitapali, Odisha, rail coach factory at Palakkad, two additional new coach manufacturing units in Kutch (Gujarat) and Kolar (Karnataka); component factory at Shyamnagar (West Bengal); new coaching terminal at Naihati, the birth place of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.

Ø  Freight loading of 1,025 MT targeted; 55 MT more than 2011—12; Passenger growth targeted at 5.4 per cent.

Ø  Passenger earnings to increase to Rs 36,200 crore.

Ø  Gross rail traffic targeted to increase by Rs 28,635 crore to Rs 1,32,552 crore in 2012—13.

Ø  Travel distance increased to 150 km under Izzat scheme

Ø  75 new Mumbai suburban trains

Ø  Guru Parikrama special trains Amritsar, Patna  and Nanded routes.


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