Nothing much for Telangana – High lights of Railway Budget 2014

rail gowda

The Telangana hopes over the Railway Budget have not been met by Minister Sadananda Gowda. The Budget focused most on facility creation and improvisation of Railway services. Depending on the Cabinet approval, the allowance of FDI in to Railway will help in taking Railways to the next level, said the minister. Most of the new projects will be based on PPP mode, as per Gowda’s vision. A Diamond Quadrilateral project connecting the Metro cities and other major stations is also announced. The dream of having India’s own Bullet train will soon be worked out, with a train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, revealed the minister. High lights of the budget are….

“Railways are the true representatives of India’s pluralistic culture, over 12,500 trains are carrying over 2.3 crore population every day, equal to Australia’s entire population. Over 30 lakh tonnes of freight is carried every day, but this is just 31% of entire freight carried in the country. We want this to improve. We want to turn Indian Railway into the largest freight carrier in the World. There are over 13 lakh employees in the railways.

For the projects proposed so far, 50 thousand crores per year are needed for next ten years. 676 projects with a cost estimate of 1,57,883 crores are already approved. 356 are over, 359 projects are pending. 99 new lines were were proposed in the last ten years, with only one line getting completed.

The Gross Traffic estimates for 2013-14 are put at Rs.1,64,374 crores, expenditure is estimated at Rs.1,49,176 crores. Collections from passenger tickets is put at Rs.44.645 crores. Market borrowing will be scaled down to Rs.11,790 crores.

Except in operations, FDI will be allowed in Railways so as to improve the facilities. For the high speed train network, PPP method will be implemented. Private investments in Railways will be invited and used for better facility creation in stations. Escalators, better waiting rooms, catering facilities will be created. Battery cars will be placed in stations to help differently abled to use trains services easily. CC Cameras will be increased, the network will aid the cleanliness efforts too apart from providing security.

The Railways will get an additional 8 thousand crores due to recent hikes. Major railway stations and selected trains will have WiFi facility. Work stations will be provided at select rest rooms for a fee. Better reservation systems will be introduced. E ticketing will be encouraged, ticket vending machines will be increased.

A Railway University to teach technical and non technical courses will be set up. 17,000 more railway police will be recruited, 4000 women police will also be inducted.

Diamond Quadrilateral project will be a priority. High speed networks connecting all metros, state capitals will be introduced. 5 Jan Sadharan trains, 4 High speed Premium AC trains, 6 AC trains, 27 Express trains, 8 Passenger, 2 Memu, 5 Demu trains will be introduced. Of these, there will be one premium AC train between Secunderabad and Hazrat Nizamuddin and another train between Vijayawada and Delhi – AP Express.

One high speed semi bullet train between Hyderabad and Chennai is also proposed. A Secunderabad-Nagpur high speed train is also proposed. A weekly train between Mumbai and Kazipet is announced.

In his concluding remarks, the Railway Minister has said that he does not consider these proposals the best or final. He has expressed willingness to consider any changes, correct any mistakes as soon as possible.

“Through this budget, seed for a 21st century railway has been laid. New technology, new vision and mechanism has been given priority. The budget gives prominence to transparency. Railways will be turned into machines of India’s cultural, financial revival,” said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the railway budget has been presented.

Medaram Jathara

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