List of Highlights of the Indian Railways Budget 2013-14

Indian Union Railway Minister- Pawan Kumar Bansal presented the Union Railway Budget 2013-14, in Lok Sabha, on 26th February 2013.

Pawan Kumar Bansal

The following are some of the highlights of the Indian Railways Budget 2013-14 presented by the present Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal in the Lokh Sabha:

Indian Railways Budget 2013

Fares and Freight: 

  • No hike in passenger fares (passenger fares hiked in January 2013)
  • Marginal increase in Cancellation  & Reservation charges
  • Superfast and Tatkal Charges will be increased
  • An Independent Railways Tariff Regulatory Authority will be set up
  • Dynamic Fuel Adjustment Component / FAC linked Revision for Freight Tariff will be implemented from 1st April 2013
  • Enhanced reservation fee will be abolished
  • 5% increase in Freight Charges
Tickets-Bookings Facilities:
  • Extension of Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS),
  • Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs),
  • Coin- operated Ticket Vending Machines (CO-TVMs) and
  • Scheme of Jan-Sadharan Ticket Booking Sevaks (JTBSs)
Online/E-Ticketing Facilities:
  • Internet booking will be strengthened to eliminate delays in online booking  with ”next-generation – e-ticketing system”, capable of handling 7200 tickets per minute against  the present 2000 tickets per minute and 1.20 lakh users simultaneously against  the present 40,000 users simultaneously.
  • Internet booking will be provided from 0030 hours to 2330 hours
  • Railways will use “Aadhar” data base for bookings and validation of passengers and staff
  •  related services.
  • E-Ticketing will be enabled through Mobile Phones
  • Updates on Reservation Status via SMS alert will be provided
  • New Trains / New Railway Services/Extensions of Services:
  • 67 new Express Trains , 26 new Passenger trains, 8 DEMU Services and 5 MEMU Services  will be introduced
  • Run of 57 trains will be  extended
  • Frequency of 24 trains will be increased
  • 72 additional suburban services in Mumbai and 18 in Kolkata will be added
  • Metropolitan Projects
  • Sub-urban Services
  • The First AC EMU Rake on Mumbai Sub Urban Network will be introduced
  • Rake length increased from 9 cars to 12 cars for 80 services in Kolkata and 30 services in Chennai
  • 22 new railway lines will be laid up
  • Electrification of 1,200 km will  be completed
  • Upgrading  60  more railway stations as “Adarsh Stations”- in addition to 980  railway stations already selected for upgrading
  • Associate voluntary organizations for providing first aid services at railway stations   

New/Extra Amenities  and Facilities to Passengers and Trains- Users:-

In Railway Stations:

  • Special A/C coaches ‘Anubhuti’, to be introduced in select Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains to give excellent ambience with commensurate fare
  • 104 Railway Stations have been Identified for immediate attention to all aspects related to cleanliness   
  • Provision of concrete aprons on platforms with mechanized cleaning facilities 
  • 179 escalators and 400 lifts at A-1 and other major stations to be installed facilitating elderly and differently abled   
  • Extension of On Board Housekeeping Scheme and Clean Train Stations to more stations and trains
  • Executive lounges will be extende at 7 more stations, namely, Bilaspur, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Nagpur, Agra, Jaipur and Bengaluru. 

In Trains:

  •  Free wi-fi facility will be provided in selected trains
  • Progressive extension of bio-toilets on 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   
  • 8-10 more mechanized laundries for quality washing of linen   
  • Provision of announcement facility and electronic display boards in trains   
  • Providing free Wi-Fi facilities on several trains   
  • Introduction of an ‘Anubhuti’ coach in select trains to provide excellent ambience and latest facilities and services   
  • 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   
  • Some JTBS to be reserved for disabled people.
Improvements in Safety & Security of Trains Travels:
  • Smoke and fire detection system envisaged / Fire extinguishers to be kept in guard vans
  • Train Protection Warning System on Automatic Signaling- Systems will be introduced
  • Rigorous trials of indigenously developed Train Collision Avoidance System
  • 17 Bridges have been identified for repair and  rehabilitation
  • 31,846 Level Crossings will be eliminated and there will be NO addition of Level Crossings in the Indian Railways System henceforth
  • 160/200 kmph- Self Propelled Accident Relief Trains will be introduced
  • Crash worthy LHB coaches with anti-climb feature will be inducted
  • Comprehensive Fire and Smoke Detection Systems will be provided
  • Provision of portable fire extinguishers in Guard-cum-Brake Vans, AC Coaches and Pantry Cars in all trains.
  • Use of fire retardant furnishing materials in coaches.
  • Measures initiated to deal with elephant related accidents.
  • Four companies of women RPF personnel set up and another 8 to be set up to strengthen the security of rail passengers, especially women passengers.
  • Recruitment to RPF with 10% vacancies reserved for women.

Rail Based Industries:

  • New factories/workshops to be set up: a new Forged Wheel Factory at Rae Bareli in collaboration with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.
  • A Greenfield Mainline Electrical Multiple Units (MEMU) manufacturing facility at Bhilwara (Rajasthan) in collaboration with State Government and BHEL.
  • A Coach Manufacturing Unit in S onepat District (Haryana) in collaboration with State Governmen
  • A Midlife Rehabilitation Workshop at Kurnool (Andhra Pradesh) in collaboration with the State Government
  • Bikaner and Pratapgarh workshops to undertake POH of BG wagons.
  • A workshop for repair and rehabilitation of motorized bogies at Misrod (Madhya Pradesh).
  • A new wagon maintenance workshop in Kalahandi (Odisha).
  • A modern signaling equipment facility at Chandigarh through PPP route.
Energy Management: 
  • Railway Energy Management Company (REMC)  will be set up to harness potential of solar and wind energy 
  • 75 MW capacity windmill plants and energizing 1000 level crossings with solar power will be set up  
  • New generation energy efficient electric locomotives and EMUs will be deployed
  • Green Initiatives:
  • Agro-based and recycled paper will be increased and  the use of plastic in catering in Railways will be completely stopped
  • 6 more Rail Neer (Packaged Drinking Water) bottling plants at Vijayawada, Nagpur, Lalitpur, Bilaspur, Jaipur and Ahmedabad  will be set up
  • Allocation of Funds for Development of Railways Stations:
  • A new “Debt Service Fund” in Indian Railways will be set up to meet committed liabilities of debt servicing for WB and JICA loans for DFC and other future liabilities.
  • Rs 1,000 crores each will be allocated   for railway land development authority and railway station development authority
  • Rs.100 crore will be allocated  for improving the Railway stations in New Delhi
  • Railways-Staff Welfare
  • Fund allocation for staff quarters  will be enhanced to Rs 300 crores
  • Single women railway employees at all divisional headquarters will be provided of Hostel Facilities
  • Medical Treatments in cases of Medical Emergencies to RELHS Beneficiaries  in the hospitals empanelled with CGHS and Railways in all cities will be extended
  • Condition of barracks will be improved for RPF Staffl
  • To Avoid stress faced by the Loco Pilots,  Water closets and Air conditioners in the locomotive cabs will be provided

Recruitment and Training of Railways Staff:

  • A Total of  1.52 lakh vacancies  will be  filled up this year, out of which 47000 vacancies have been earmarked for Weaker sections and Physically challenged which will be filled up soon
  • Railways related skills will be Imparted in Railways related Trades  to the youth  in 25 locations
  • A multi-disciplinary training institute at Nagpur for training in railways  related electronics technologies will be set up
  • Indian Railways Institute of Financial Management (IRIFM),  a centralized training institute  will be set up at Secunderabad
  • 5 Fellowships in national universities will  be instituted to motivate students to study and undertake research on IR related issues at M.Phil and  Ph.D. levels
  • A chair at TERI promoting railway related research to reduce carbon footprint will be set up
  • Sports Promotion in Railways:
  • Indian Railways Teams  have won 9 National Championships in  the year 2012
  • Railway Sports Promotion Board awarded the ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar – 2012’
  • Complimentary card passes will be given for travel  in First Class/ II AC Class will be issued to the  recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna & Dhyan Chand Awards
  • Complimentary card passes will be given for travel in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains  to Olympic Medalists and Dronacharya    Awardees   
  • Travel by Duronto Trains will be permitted on all card passes issued to sports persons having facility of travel by Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains

Concessions:

  • Facility of complimentary card passes valid in 1st class/2nd AC will be extended to parents of posthumous unmarried awardees of- Mahavir Chakra, Vir Chakra, Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, President’s Police Medal for Gallantry and Police Medal for Gallantry
  • Police Gallantry awardees will  be granted one complimentary pass every year for travel along with one companion in 2nd AC in Rajdhani/Shatabadi Trains
  • Passes for freedom fighters will  have to be renewed once in three years instead of every year

Will the Indian Railways Budget be “People-Friendly”? 

According to the Indian Railways Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal  the Government is for the people and you  will have to see the budget from that point of view.

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