Railway Budget 2012-13 was presented by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi today. Below are the highlights of the same from the perspective of common man.
- Passenger fares increased by 2 paise per km for suburban and ordinary second class; 3 paise per km for mail/express second class; 5 paise per km for sleeper class; 10 paise per km for AC Chair Car, AC 3 tier and First Class; 15 paise per km for AC 2 tier and 30 paise per km for AC I. The fare was increased after a gap of 8 Years. This increase would be in the range of 5% – 15%.
- Fares to be rounded off to the next nearest five rupees. Very sensible move!
- Minimum fare and platform tickets to cost Rs. 5.
- Setting up of Railway Tariff Regulatory Authority to be considered
- Fuel Adjustment Component (FAC) in fares contemplated. If this happens increase in petrol/ diesel prices would push up the the rail fares!
These suburban service are lifelines in metros and railways desperately needs to pay attention to the same. The below announcement is just a drop in ocean for ever increasing population in metros.
- 75 additional services to run in Mumbai suburban.
- 18 additional services to be run in Chennai area.
- 44 new suburban services to be introduced in Kolkata area.
- 50 new services to be introduced in Kolkata Metro in 2012-13.
Passenger/Rail Users’ Amenities:
- Installation of 321 escalators at important stations of which 50 will be commissioned in 2012-13.
- 2500 coaches to be equipped with bio toilets. Desperately needed 🙂
- SMS on passenger mobile phone in case of e-ticket to be accepted as proof of valid reservation. This is already implemented and a good initiative.
- Introduction of regional cuisine at affordable rates; launching of Book-a-meal scheme to provide multiple choices of meals through SMS or email.
- Setting up of AC Executive lounges at important stations. I experience this once in Chennai, it was good!
- Expansion of housekeeping schemes for trains. Please ASAP!
- Introduction of Rail Bandhu on-board magazines on Rajdhanis, Shatabdis and Duronto trains.
- Introduction of coin/currency operated ticket vending machines.
- Introduction of Alternate Train Accommodation System to accommodate wait listed passengers on alternate trains.
- Introduction of model rake with world class interiors. Let’s see when we get to see this!
- Sale of PRS tickets through 151 post offices.
- Introduction of satellite based real time train information system (SIMRAN) to provide train running information to passengers through SMS, internet, etc. Much needed!
- On board passenger displays indicating next halt station and expected arrival time to be introduced.
- Specially designed coaches for differentlly-abled persons to be provided in each Mail/Express trains.
- Engaging reputed professional agencies for pantry cars and base kitchens.
- Specialized House-keeping body to be set up for cleanliness of stations and the trains.
- Dedicated Railway Design Centre to be set up in the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
- Value of concession granted to travelers is more than Rs.800 crore per year.
- 50% concession in fare in AC-2, AC-3, Chair Car & Sleeper classes to patients suffering from ‘Aplastic Anaemia’ and ‘Sickle Cell Anaemia’.
- Extending the facility of travel by Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains to Arjuna Awardees.
- Travel distance under ‘Izzat Scheme’ to increase from 100 kms to 150 kms
We really need enhanced security for passenger and their luggage at railway stations and trains itself.
- Installation of Integrated Security System at all 202 identified stations to be completed in 2012-13.
- Escorting of trains by RPF/GRP extended to 3500 trains.
- Integration of RPF helpline with the All India Passenger Helpline.
Training and Recruitment:
With approximately 1.36 million permanent employees, Indian Railways is the world’s second largest employer.
- Over 80,000 persons recruited in 2011-12;
- Over one lakh persons to be recruited in 2012-13 – backlog of SC/ST/OBC and other categories to be wiped off.
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You can read and download Railway Budget 2012-13 – Speech here.
I was looking at the news and it seems this Rail Budget of 2012-13 would cost Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi his job! What politics!