Pawan Bansal’s Railway Budget 13-14

Railway Minister Pawan Bansal has announced the Union Railway Budget for 2013-14 in Parliament. Here are the highlights:

  • No increase in passenger fares
  • Railways will absorb Rs. 850 crore on account of no hike in passenger fare
  • Marginal increase in reservation charges, cancellation charges
  • Supplementary charges for superfast trains and tatkal booking
  • 26 new passenger trains to be launched
  • 67 express trains to be launched
  • 9 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains to be introduced
  • 500-km new lines to be completed in 2013-14
  • Concessional fare for sportspersons
  • 5 per cent average increase in freight 
  • Diesel price hike added Rs. 3,300 crore to fuel bill of Railways
  • Railways hopes to end 2013-14 with a balance of Rs. 12,506 crore
  • 5.2 per cent growth in passenger traffic expected in 2013-14
  • Railways’ freight loading traffic scaled down by 100 million tonnes from 1025 million tonnes because of economic slowdown
  • Railways to set up a Debt Service Fund
  • Rs. 3,000 crore loan from Finance Ministry re-paid with interest by Railways this financial year
  • New coach manufacturing and maintenance facilities to be set up in various places including Rae Bareli, Bhilwara, Sonepat, Kalahandi, Kolar, Palakkad and Pratapgarh
  • Five fellowships to be announced to motivate students
  • Centralised training institute to be set up in Secunderabad
  • Will provide better living conditions for Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel
  • Seek to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies in railways this year. 47,000 vacancies for weaker sections and physically challenged to be filled up soon
  • Target of Rs. 4,000 crore for railway production units in 2014
  • Trying to connect Manipur through railways
  • Investment of Rs. 3800 crore for port connectivity projects
  • Target of Rs. 1000 crore each for Indian Railways Land Development Authority and Indian Railways Station Development authority
  • Toll free 1800111321 number to address grievance. Introduced from February 2013
  • Labs to test food provided in trains. ISO certification for all rail kitchens
  • Advance fraud control will be used for ticket sale
  • Induction of e-ticketing through mobile phones, SMS alerts to passengers
  • Next-generation e-ticketing system to improve end user experience.  The system will support 7200 users per minute
  • Wheelchairs and escalators to be made to make stations and trains friendlier for the differently-abled.
  • Rs. 100 crore to be spent to augment facilities at Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations
  • Special attention to stations in NCR.
  • Free wi-fi facilities in select trains. 60 more ‘adarsh’ stations
  • Safety measures including new coaches with anti-climb features to be brought in
  • More ladies specials in metros and a helpline number to be implemented
  • Railways meets need of consumers while adhering to sound economic principles. Need to expand at a much faster growth rate
  • I am committed to improving passenger amenities
  • Resource crunch cannot be a reason for substandard services
  • Elimination of over 10,000 level crossings
  • 17 bridges sanctioned for rehabilitation
  • Enhancement of the track capacity and the Train Protection Warning System (TPWS)
  • Indigenously developed collision avoidance system to be put to trial
  • Induction of self-propelled accident relief trains along with fast and reliable disaster management system
  • Railway passengers deserve safe and comfortable travel. Safety is a mandate in running trains. There has been a significant reduction in accidents – .41 per million kms in 2003-04 to .13 in 2011- 12. We will strive to work towards a zero accident situation.
  • Our targets need to be higher
  • Mounting scarcity of resources, thin spread of funds continue to be a problem
  • The number of passenger trains has increased from 8000 in 2001 to over 12000 in 2012 – yet losses continue to mount. It is estimated to be Rs. 24,000 cr in 2012-13
  • Indian railways must remain financially viable
  • Indian Railways plays an unparalleled growth in integrating the nation
  • I thank Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi and I pay homage to Rajiv Gandhi ji who introduced me to politics

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