Highlights of the Railway Budget 2015-16
1. IR to become prime mover of economy once again
2 Resource Mobilization for higher Investments
3. Decongestion of heavy haul routes and speeding up of trains: emphasis on gauge conversion, doubling, tripling and electrification
4. Project delivery
5. Passenger Amenities.
7. Transparency & System Improvement.
8. Railways to continue to be the preferred mode of transport for the masses.
Four goals for Indian Railways to transform over next five years:
a) To deliver a sustained and measurable improvement in customer experience.
b) To make Rail a safer means of travel.
c) To expand Bhartiya Rail’s capacity substantially and modernise infrastructure.: increase daily passenger carrying capacity from 21million to 30 million: increase track length by 20% from 1,14,000 km to 1,38,000 km: grow our annual freight carrying capacity from 1 billion to 1.5 billion tonnes.
d) Finally, to make Bhartiya Rail financially self-sustainable. Generate large surpluses from operations not only to service the debt needed to fund our capacity expansion, but also to invest on an on-going basis to replace our depreciating assets.
Execution strategy to have five drivers:
a) Adopting a medium-term perspective:
Railway Budget part of trilogy of documents viz. the White Paper placed today, Budget 2015-16 & a Vision-2030 document which will follow. Budget proposals to mark beginning of a Five Year Action Plan to transform the Railways.
b) Building Partnerships:
This will require partnering with key stakeholders: States, PSU’s, partner with multilateral and bi-lateral organizations & other governments to gain access to long term financing and technology from overseas, the private sector to improve last mile connectivity, expand fleet of rolling stock and modernize our station infrastructure.
c) Leveraging additional resources:
IR envisages investment of Rs. 8.5 lakh crore in next five years to be mobilized from multiple sources to cater to funding i.e Multilateral development banks, pension funds.
d) Revamping management practices, systems, processes, and re-tooling of human resources:
a. Targeted operating ratio for 2015-16 at 88.5% against 91.8%in 2014-15: best in the last 9 years.
b. IR to speed up decision making, tighten accountability, improve management information systems: training and development of human resource.
e) To set standards for Governance and Transparency
Eleven major thrust areas of Action Plan: Quality of life in journeys:
Cleanliness:-Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat, new department for cleanliness, integrated cleaning by engaging professional agencies and training our staff, ‘waste to energy’ conversion plants, new toilets covering 650 additional stations compared to 120 stations last year. Bio-toilets.
Bed linen: NIFT to design; online booking of disposable bed rolls:
Help-line: 24X7 helpline number 138;toll-free number 182 for security related complaints.
Ticketing: operation five minutes for issuing unreserved tickets, hot buttons, coin vending machines, single destination teller, concessional e-tickets for differently abled travelers, developing a multi-lingual e-portal, crediting of refunds through banks, unreserved tickets on Smart phones, proliferation of automatic ticket vending machines with smart cards and currency options, integrated ticketing system on the lines of rail-cum-road tickets, Defence Travel System developed for elimination of Warrants .
Catering: e-catering to select meals from an array of choices. Ordering food through IRCTC website at the time of booking of tickets; integrating best food chains into this project; setting up of Base Kitchens in specified Divisions to be run by reputed agencies for serving quality food; expansion of water vending machines.
Leveraging technology: Hand-held terminals to Travelling Ticket Examiners (TTEs) for verification of passengers and downloading charts; possibility of extending facility of SMS on mobiles as a valid proof of travel for PRS tickets; integrated customer portal as a single interface to access different services; Introduction of a centrally managed Railway Display Network in over 2000 stations in next two years; “SMS Alert” service to inform passengers in advance of the updated arrival/departure time of trains at starting or destination stations.
Surveillance: surveillance cameras provided on a pilot basis in selected mainline coaches and ladies’ compartments of suburban coaches without intruding into privacy.
Entertainment: project for introducing on-board entertainment on select Shatabdi trains on license fee basis launched; Mobile phone charging facilities to be provided in general class coaches & increased in sleeper class coaches.
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