Rail Budget:2009-10

Yusuf

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NEW DELHI: Amid expectations of improvement in railway amenities, railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday presented the 15th Railway Budget in
the Parliament.

Presenting a promised 'pro-people' budget, the railways minister said that economic viability is not the only index of development.

She went on to add, "People expect to get better rail and train facilities. Development should not be restricted to only few people. People want better connectivity between stations in the nation. My priorities will include better passenger amenities, safety and security and provision of good quality food and drinking water".

Mamata added that an expert committee will be set up to advise her on implementation of the so-called economically unviable but socially desired projects

Mamata Banerjee said that 12 non-stop intercity air-conditioned trains will be introduced. More 'Ladies-Special' trains will be introduced in suburban trains during peak hours.

Railways will sell tickets from 5,000 post offices and tatkal booking time will be reduced from 5 to 2 days.

Banerjee announced that Izzat scheme will be launched for unorganized sector workers- Rs 25 pass up to 100km journey

Banerjee also said that multi-function complexes will be set up in 50 station premises. "Fifty stations will be developed into world class facilities," she said naming those at Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Varanasi Guwahati, Chennai, Mangalore, Porbundar and Kochi, among others.

Banerjee also said that doctors would be available on long-distance trains.

Special facilities will be provided at 375 stations and economic viability will not be the only index, said Mamata.

Rules for student concession will be relaxed, said Mamata.

Special concessions for media- concession would raised from 30% to 50%.

This is Mamata Banerjee’s first Rail Budget for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and third in her political career.

Highlights of Railway Budget for 2009-10

- No increase in passenger, freight fares

- Rs 1,102 crore allocated towards improving passenger amenities

- Kolkata metro to be extended

- Rs 50 billion increase in budgetary support in 2009-10

- Freight target for 2009-10 set at 882 million tonnes

- Target set in interim budget unrealistic

- Freight cargo increased 5% in 2008-09

- One doctor to be posted on each long distance train

- Rs.25 monthly pass for unorganised sector employees with income below Rs 1,500 for travel up to 100 km

- New "Yuva" fully air-conditioned train for youth

- Yuva fares Rs.299 up to a distance of 1,500 km and Rs 399 up to 2,500 km

- Student concession to be extended to madarssa students

- Student concession of 60 percent on Kolkata Metro

- Introduction of trains for women during peak seasons

- 12 non-stop trains

- New train information system to be started in Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi

- 50 mobile rail ticket vans to be introduced

- ATMs on 200 mid and small-sized stations

- Integrated security scheme for 140 vulnerable stations

- Setting up of a 1,000 MW power plant

- Special recruitment drive for the physically challenged, minorities

- Committee under Sam Pitroda to commercialise railways' optic fibre network

- Private operation of freight terminals to be encouraged

- New factory in West Bengal for making 500 state-of-the-art coaches annually

- "Janta khana" (peoples' food) to be provided at railway stations

- Railways will not be guided by economic viability, but by social commitment

- Seven nursing colleges to provide employment to railway spouses

- Medical colleges proposed to be opened through public-private partnership model

- Cold storages and cargo facilities to eliminate wastage of perishables

- 50 world class stations to be developed on public-private partnership model

- 309 out of 375 stations will be developed with modern facilities

- 50 stations at tourist, religious places to have integrated facilities

- Infotainment facilities on Rajdhani Express for long distance passengers

- Unreserved ticketing systems to be expanded from 5,000 to 8,000 terminals

- Passengers can buy unreserved tickets at 5,000 post offices

- Air-conditioned double-decker trains for inter-city travel

- SMS updates for wait-listed passengers

- 200 automatic vending machines at key stations for selling tickets

- Discount for press correspondents increased from 30 to 50%

- Discount of 60% on fare if press correspondents travel with spouse
Passenger amenities, safety top priorities in Rail Budget: Mamata Banerjee - India - The Times of India
 

Yusuf

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Looks like a good rail budget. But the Lalu emphasis on money making is gone.
 

1.44

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The Railway Budget states that the Indian railways will begin surveys to extend the network to the north-eastern areas.Looks like it's part of India's project to extend the railways to the areas bordering China.
 

Known_Unknown

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Are the Indian Railways a profit making exterprise? I see a lot of discounts and expenses, but no economic responsibility. Shouldn't they have plans to upgrade most of the train coaches which look like they're decades old? The sewage disposal system also is non-existent on most trains. I once travelled on a train to Mumbai and got down at VT station. It smelled like a shit bomb had just exploded there......I was shocked to find out that their method for disposing human waste from the train toilets was to let it out on the tracks.

They need to fix what is already broke instead of introducing 50 new projects.
 

Yusuf

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Railways was always in a loss till Lalu came along. Money is required by the Railways to expand and also pay its 1.5 million employees. Loss by Railways due to crap policies use to burden the national budget. So our tax money was going into paying for the railways operations.
Now that money has come to the railways, slowly but surely they are modernizing.
 

1.44

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There are plans to upgrade the Railways in the budget including medical facilities as well as stationing commandos on board for security.So i think we can hope to see some improvements in the trains themselves but the major focus of the improvements will be in the expansion of infrastructure.
Btw Known unknown:LOL
 

Known_Unknown

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Railways will not be guided by economic viability, but by social commitment
Well, seems it's back to the good ol' days.
 

Payeng

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Are the Indian Railways a profit making exterprise? I see a lot of discounts and expenses, but no economic responsibility. Shouldn't they have plans to upgrade most of the train coaches which look like they're decades old? The sewage disposal system also is non-existent on most trains. I once travelled on a train to Mumbai and got down at VT station. It smelled like a shit bomb had just exploded there......I was shocked to find out that their method for disposing human waste from the train toilets was to let it out on the tracks.

They need to fix what is already broke instead of introducing 50 new projects.
Yes you are right the shit bomb problem needed to be fixed asap.
 

1.44

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I find the though of my shit just lying there in the track pretty funny.However it does need to be corrected ASAP.It doesn't give a great impression on someone using the Railways for the first time or to the foreigner that use the railways.
 

thakur_ritesh

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mamta banerjee does scare a bone in me, and makes me wonder will we see the railways again in the red or will she continue from where lalu left, fingers crossed for the latter though. i was very keen on certain aspects which i have not seen in the highlights posted by yusuf, which were modern railway stations for the metros, implementation of high speed bullet trains on new tracks to be laid down for that very purpose the feasibility report of which was submitted to the railways and what is happening to the much talked about rail freight to be completed with the help of japan which is to attract some 90b usd worth of investments, if anyone is aware on latest developments in these projects, please post. thanks.

they have worked on human excreta disposal system and have loos similar to the ones on airplanes. though its been a long time since i have traveled on a train but way back some 5yrs from now i was a frequent on lucknow shatabdi and it was there on that train and looking at the recently launched shatabdis and rajdhanis it seems they have it for these trains as well, but it seems such loos are not there for other trains, which i think will take time, mind you they aim to have all ac coaches by 2020 so certainly these vacuum sucking loos (or what ever they are called) would be there on all trains.

if i am not wrong then indian railways is sitting on a cash surplus of around 1,00,000 crores or at around 20b usd, if exchange rate is taken at 50 to a dollar.
 

Yusuf

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The Bullet is probably not happening. Lalu tried, but I think the feasibility report wasnt good or it was just put on the back burner. The Chennai Bangalore route was being discussed for the Bullet trains.
The north-south and east-west freight corridor should materialize i think.
 

Yusuf

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Lalu got math wrong, Mamata corrects

They may be on the same side of political power, but that did not stop Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee and her predecessor Lalu Prasad from taking pot-shots at each other during the presentation of Railway Budget in the Lok Sabha.

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee took a swipe at her predecessor Lalu Prasad for setting "unrealistically high targets" for revenues in the interim budget and reduced the projected receipts by Rs 4,800 crore (Rs 48 billion).

"I am presenting the budget estimates for 2009-10 in the backdrop of the shortfall in performance of the Railways in 2008-09. Freight loading fell short of the target of 850 million tonnes by 17 million tonnes. Revenues from commercial utilisation of surplus railway lands also did not materialise.

"This has forced me to review the targets set for 2009-10 in the interim budget. Based on the review, it is very clear that the unrealistically high targets set in the interim budget are not sustainable and warrant a mid course correction," Banerjee said presenting the budget in Lok Sabha.

Out in the cold in the new dispensation, RJD chief Lalu Prasad sought to embarrass Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on the Rail Budget saying she had used his achievements in the Ministry to build her case.

Prasad, the former Railway Minister who was not preferred by the Congress leadership in the new government, also accused her of neglecting Bihar in the budget.

In a combative mood, Prasad said he was not bothered by the Minister's declaration of coming out with a white paper on the organisational, operational and financial situation and performance of Railways in the past five years when Prasad was at the helm.

"This is not an embarrassment (that a white paper is coming out). Let her bring out white paper. I am not bothered," he told reporters after Banerjee presented the rail budget in Lok Sabha.

"Is this a budget? She has just read out what I had announced during my stint...She suffers from a complex," he said. Prasad claimed there was "nothing new" in the budget and that she had just read out what he had prepared during his stint. "She has used my achievements as a base to build her vision," he said.
Lalu got math wrong, Mamata corrects Rediff Money
 

thakur_ritesh

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one seriously doubts lalu and mamta see eye to eye on a personal level, leave alone on issues that bother the country, so this swipe taking does not really come as a surprise. there is a lot of bruised ego at the end of lalu which is doing a lot of talking today since he has not been named as a the rail mantri for the second time so it is kind of fine and then lalu who is more of a commie fan would certainly not have any liking for ms mamta who does not let those commies have a easy breath. what lalu says hardly makes a difference and i would be perfectly fine if the technocrats are fine with this budget and are given a free hand to function as was the case since the last 5yrs. as far as mamta taking a swipe at lalu is concerned, well she is talking facts so really lalu should have no reasons to complain and as it is economy on the whole has not done well so even if the railways missed the target by 2% on the volumes part, i think it is acceptable and it is not always that the indian railways is in the green so with all grace lalu should not lower his stature by getting into a verbal duel with mamta, 5yrs from now it is the work which will talk and not what was spoken.

added later

i just can not understand why do we need these budget in the first place, it is high time that we did away with budgets and made all this decision taking, target setting a daily routine job rather than wait for an occasion like a budget which at the end delays the whole process of decision taking and its implementation.
 

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