Railway Budget: Lalu Express Does it again

I was listening to the complete coverage on the Rail Budget today and believe me, it was a treat for the ear. I am amazed at the way Mr.Lalu Prasad Yadav changed the way Railways was looked upon. I loved it when he said that Railways Posted a 20,000 crore profit against the 14,700 crores of the last year. Moreover, It was great to know that with all the benefits that he had to offer; he abstained from increasing passenger tariffs. Now thats what i call a turnaround.

Some of the Key points that impressed me were

Achievements:

  • Fund balance at Rs 16,000 crore.
  • 20- 30 per cent increase in passenger traffic.
  • Railways record Rs 20,000 crore profit in 2006-07.
  • Cement steel traffic up by 20 to 30 per cent.
  • Railways successful on the container train experiment.

Fares

  • AC first class fare will be reduced.
  • Reduction in fares by Re 1 per passenger in non-suburban tickets.
  • Superfast surcharge levied on second class tickets reduced by 20 per cent.

Passenger Facilities:

  • Fifty per cent fare concession for UPSC and other official examinees.
  • Tickets to be sold at petrol pumps and ATM centres.
  • Senior citizen and ladies above 45 years of age will have greater quota in AC and second class sleeper coaches.
  • For handicapped persons, specially designed coaches will be used. 1,250 bogies created for this so far. All mail expresses will have such designed coaches by next year.
  • Separate coach for vendors, milkmen and petty traders in passenger trains.
  • Passengers can also get alerts through SMS on their Reservation Status.
  • Each zone will have a SP grade officer to look into consumer complaints.
  • All customer complaints to be disposed in three months.

Infrastructure Management:

  • 500 kms of new rail lane envisaged.
  • 23 train routes to be extended.
  • 800 new wagons to be introduced; 20,000 km of high-density network to be laid; new trains for cement transportation.
  • Lalu against privatisation in Railways. Wants private partnership on his terms.
  • CCTVs to be installed in sensitive stations.
  • All TTEs to be provided palm tops.
  • Rail electrification to be done across the country right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
  • Rail locomotive production to be increased.
  • 32 new trains and 8 new Grib Raths this year.
  • Suburban train services in Mumbai to be increased.
  • Mumbai Urban Transport Project to be speeded up to help suburban commuters. Rs 5,000 crore to be allocated during the next Five-Year Plan for this.
  • Feasibility study to be conducted for ultra-high speed trains with speed up to 250-300 km per hour.
  • Number of berths to be increased from 72 to 84 in sleeper coaches.
  • Work on dedicated freight corridor to begin in 2007-08. The corridor will be completed after investing Rs 30,000 crore.
  • 2007-08 will be observed as Railways cleanliness year.
  • 300 more stations to be turned into model stations.
  • 6,000 automatic ticket vending machines to be installed in major cities.
  • Railways to set up call centres. Customers can dial 139 at local rates anywhere in India and get routed to Railway call centres.
  • Unreserved compartments will increase from four to six compartments in every train this year.
  • Production of wooden seats will be stopped.
  • Uncushioned seats to be replaced by 2007-2008 in unreserved second class compartments.
  • Efforts to increase container traffic five – fold to 100 million tonnes by 2011-12.
  • Will invest massively in container operations over the next 5 years.
  • Plan to start three-storey container trains.
  • Freight: Incremental loading of 60 million tonnes this year.

others

  • Chair to be set up at IIM-A to study the management of Railways.

However, A few things that i would have asked Mr Yadav were

  1. Increased Security features on the Rail lines.
  2. Spend on upskilling the existing Railway Police force.
  3. Spend on upgrading the existing Rail infrastructure.
  4. concentrate on more enviornment friendly projects like battery operated locomotives.
  5. complete the Mangalore Bangalore Rail Link.
  6. Improve the railway catering services.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s