The highlightsRailway Budget for 2013-14

 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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